New Mexico Follows a 'Blueprint for Improving Access' to Strengthen Health Care

Practice Sights: State Primary Care Development Strategies

From 1993 to 1997, the State of New Mexico Department of Health enhanced its efforts to recruit and retain primary care providers in underserved areas.

The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Practice Sights: State Primary Care Development Strategies national program.

Key Results:

  • During the 1993–94 legislative session, the state set aside $5 million for rural and primary health care capital loan needs and $495,000 for the New Mexico Health Service Corps Stipend and Community Contract loan repayment and scholarship programs for providers willing to practice in underserved communities.
  • A locum tenens network provided 12,000 hours of service coverage in its first year in operation and received an increase in funding for its second year.
  • The state formed the RWJF Collaborative Committee to coordinate efforts of several RWJF projects, including Practice Sites, The Generalist Physician Initiative, State Initiatives in Health Financing Reform, Partnerships for Training, and Medical School Curriculum Reform.
  • The nonprofit New Mexico Health Resources provided free or low-cost recruitment services to 31 underserved communities under a contract with the state.
  • The state has provided technical assistance in community health development, including strategic planning, network formation, and expanding services, to 13 communities in seven counties.