Primary Care and Rural Health, Office of
To address health disparities created by lack of access to high-quality health care due to financial, cultural and geographic barriers. This mission is accomplished by facilitating the coordination of activities within our state that relate to the delivery of primary health care services and the recruitment and retention of critical health care providers.
2012 Accomplishments and Milestones
- Awarded 2 mini-grants to organizations serving non-metro communities to support community assessment and strategic planning around improving rural health systems, with a focus on enhancing medical homes and maternal and child health services.
- Updated RIís Health Provider Shortage Area designation process. (more)
What we do
- Workforce Recruitment and Retention: The Office of Primary Care and Rural Health recruits a diverse primary care workforce of medical, dental and mental health care providers through operation of the Health Professional Loan Repayment Program, the physician waiver program for holders of J-1 Visas and coordination of National Health Service Corp programs
- Health Provider Shortage Areas: The Office of Primary Care and Rural Health conducts needs assessments annually to determine the capacity of the existing workforce to meet the needs of Rhode Islanders for access to medical, dental and mental health services. Where need is identified, we work with organizations and facilities to apply for Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) designations which confers access to additional federal resources to improve access to care.
- Coordination of activities within the state: We work statewide to assist those working to increase access to primary care services for all and reduce disparities seen in our rural populations. A recent example is two Tobacco Summits held in collaboration with the Tobacco Control Program of the Department of Health, Tobacco Free Rhode Island, and rural stakeholders to address the elevated rates of tobacco use by rural teenagers.
Programs within the office