Maine Seeks to Provide Rural Health Care Services Despite Rough Weather and Terrain

In 1993 and 1994, Maine developed a five-part strategy to improve the distribution of primary care providers in underserved areas.

The strategy included upgrading statewide needs assessment, providing statewide coordination and integration of recruitment programs, developing a variety of retention programs, reducing practice barriers and promoting service expansion. It also included establishing a loan program for practitioner debt consolidation, start-up, and capital costs.

The project, which did not receive funding for the implementation stage, was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) national program Practice Sights: State Primary Care Development Strategies.

Key Results

The state created four work modules—covering needs assessment, recruitment and retention, policy and financing, and the loan fund—to address the various initiatives of the project.