UPDATE (6:35 p.m.) – UnityPoint Health has released the following statement to WMBD.

UnityPoint Health is pleased and very grateful to receive additional federal funding to help address the behavioral health physician shortage and improve access to quality care for our patients and families in Central Illinois. This support will fund an additional 3 resident positions in the Psychiatry Residency Program we host with the University of Illinois College of Medicine. It will help secure training for the next generation of physicians in our community.

UnityPoint Health Central Illinois

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — UnityPoint Methodist in Peoria will receive additional federal funding to help address the physician shortage in Illinois.

According to a press release from U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has awarded new Medicare Graduate Medical Education funding to five hospitals in Illinois.

The funding will give UnityPoint additional residency slots, and expand its medical training opportunities for new doctors.

“Our health care professionals are doing their best to meet the demands of our health care system, but additional funding is needed to address staffing shortages and improve health care outcomes,” said Durbin. “With this additional Medicare funding to train new physicians in our state, Illinois hospitals will be able to better address the needs of patients.”

UnityPoint Methodist is the only hospital outside of Chicago awarded in this funding round.

This funding was approved as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.

It is estimated that the United States will have a shortage of 124,000 physicians over the next decade.