Virginia Establishes a Division of Primary Care and Rural Health to Address Needs

Practice Sights: State Primary Care Development Strategies

The Commonwealth of Virginia created a Center for Primary Care and Rural Health in the Virginia Department of Health as a central entity to coordinate public and private recruitment and retention activities.

A $4.2-million loan fund, catalyzed by a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) program-related investment (PRI), provided capital for practices and health care facilities in underserved areas.

The project was part of the RWJF Practice Sights: State Primary Care Development Strategies national program.

Key Results:

  • Virginia created a Center for Primary Care and Rural Health in the Virginia Department of Health as a central entity to coordinate public and private recruitment and retention activities.

    Initial activities included identifying and evaluating access problems in target zones and providing technical assistance and education in underserved areas.
  • A $4.2-million loan fund, catalyzed by the RWJF program-related investment (PRI), provided capital for practices and health care facilities in underserved areas. Sixteen loans totaling $1.62 million have closed so far.
  • Scholarships and a loan repayment program were funded by the state, and Medicaid reimbursement rates were increased in underserved areas.

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