Dates of Project: July 1997 to August 2009
Field of Work: Increasing access to health care in rural, underserved areas of eight Southern states
Synopsis of the Work: The Southern Rural Access Program was a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that worked to increase access to health care in rural, underserved areas of eight southern states. The states recruited and retained rural primary care providers, offered programs to attract students committed to working in rural areas to the health professions and help prepare them for training programs, developed collaborative networks of rural health providers, and developed loan funds to help rural health providers improve their practices.
In Mississippi, one of the participating states, the Mississippi Primary Health Care Association created the Mississippi Access to Rural Care program, which helped recruit and place 134 primary care providers in some of the state's most remote and impoverished areas. In addition, the Mississippi Hospital Association helped 39 hospitals and 31 other providers in rural areas improve their practice management skills (e.g., including coding and billing, reimbursement, and personnel procedures). Read more about this work in the sidebar.