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A Historic Day: How Beebe’s Family Medicine Residency Will Benefit Sussex County

Dr. Joyce Robert

By Dr. Joyce Robert


On March 17, an incredibly important and special milestone was marked for Beebe Healthcare and Sussex County.

After nearly three years of preparation, we proudly announced the names of the four medical residents who will be the very first to join our brand-new Family Medicine Residency program at the R. Randall Rollins Center for Medical Education. The residents will take part in a three-year academic curriculum at Beebe, gaining exposure and hands-on experience in a wide range of clinical areas – from the emergency and operating rooms to countless specialties areas such as OB-GYN, pediatrics, cardiology, ophthalmology, and orthopaedics – just to name a few.

We are proud of the phenomenal progress we have made in positioning Beebe to launch our Family Medicine Residency program. It puts our hospital on the map of institutions that are training the next generation of physicians, who will ultimately provide lifechanging and lifesaving healthcare in the years to come.

Looking ahead, we are beyond excited to welcome our inaugural class of residents to Sussex County this summer. After receiving our accreditation from the rigorous examination from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), it has been a labor-intensive, yet very exciting resident recruitment process.0

Meet the Residents
More than 500 candidates from medical schools across the globe applied to our program. Our administrators and clinical leaders reviewed applications and identified more than 70 candidates to interview, with an ultimate goal to recruit four. As Beebe identified our top choice candidates, the candidates themselves also participated in a process to identify their top choice hospitals.

Ultimately, on Match Day, Beebe announced that it “matched” with:

  • Harrison Eckert, DO, from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Monica Javadian, MD, from American University of the Caribbean
  • Sofia Perez Perez, DO, from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Jacob Valvis, DO, from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
family medicine residents


We will welcome our four new residents to Beebe Family Practice Long Neck in July, and they will play in instrumental role as we launch, grow, and evolve this amazing and truly impactful program.

Caring for You
Understandably, you may be wondering how the Family Medicine Residency Program will benefit the people who live in, work in, and visit Sussex County, specifically. To that question, we have a very clear answer.

The program will make it possible for Beebe to schedule approximately 7,000 additional primary care appointments each year. This translates to increased access to timely care for patients with a wide range of medical issues and needs – which is, always has been, and always will be one of Beebe’s most important priorities.

And, increasing access to care is especially important as we look ahead to the future. Research shows that a national physician shortage in the United States in on the horizon. Research also shows that on average, 50 percent of medical residents choose to remain in the communities where they train, long-term. We are confident that the residents joining Beebe’s Family Medicine Residency program this year, and in the years to come, will be among the best of the best. And, we believe their experience here will give them many reasons to consider staying.

Your Support is Vital
The Family Medicine Residency program is led by myself, Jeffrey Hawtof, MD, who serves as associate director of the program, and Tanya Ray, our amazing administrative director of graduate medical education, who has also led our accreditation and recruitment processes as Beebe’s designated institutional official for collaboration with ACGME.

Please, join in on the excitement! You can learn more about our Family Medicine Residency program on our web site. You can also keep up with our progress by liking and following our Facebook page (Family Medicine Residency at Beebe Healthcare).

Additionally, I encourage you to supporting the continued growth of this program by making a gift to the Beebe Foundation, with funds directed to the Family Medicine Residency program. Our Foundation team has worked tirelessly to generate community support and funding to make the launch of this program possible. To every community donor and partner who has stepped up to the plate and invested in our vision, we are so grateful. We appreciate your trust, support, and enthusiasm as this special moment in Beebe Healthcare’s history takes place.

Dr. Joyce Robert is Beebe's Program Director for the Family Medicine Residency. She is also a board certified family medicine physician. She also completed a fellowship with the National Institute for Program Director Development with the Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors.