New York Overcomes Rural and Urban Physician Shortages

Practice Sights: State Primary Care Development Strategies

From 1993 to 1998, the New York State Department of Health (whose grants are administered by Health Research, Inc., the grantee organization) worked to address barriers to health care access in rural parts of the state, where provider shortages are common, and in its urban centers, where problems include a lack of training in primary care, low Medicaid reimbursement, and language and cultural barriers.

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

Key Results

  • Project staff identified 30 communities with severe access problems and hired three regional coordinators to help them devise strategic plans to improve access and to provide other technical and financial assistance.
  • The state recruited 50 volunteers to serve in regional technical assistance networks, which also aided targeted communities. These volunteers helped to develop a rural health network and a dental service program in a community health center.
  • Practice Sights sponsored three regional recruitment workshops, at which staff from the state's Physician Recruitment Service provided practical guidance to community providers on how to successfully recruit and retain health care staff.
  • The project cosponsored, with the state's Primary Care Association, a series of three managed care workshops on management information systems, clinical management and capitation.