North Country health group awarded $600k

The North Country Health Consortium has received a three-year, $600,000 federal grant aimed at increasing the number of health professionals in New Hampshire’s rural communities.The grant, from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration’s Rural Health Workforce Development Program, is part of a national initiative to increase the number of primary care and allied health providers who practice in rural areas. The North Country Health Consortium, based in Whitefield, is a rural health network of 20 service providers with a mission to improve the health of North Country residents through innovative collaboration. The consortium is partnering with Dartmouth Medical School, The Dartmouth Institute, Franklin Pierce Physician Assistant program, White Mountain Community College, the New Hampshire Area Health Education Center and the state Office of Rural Health to develop and implement this three year initiative. The first year of the grant will focus on planning, said Nancy Frank, director of development and workforce development for the consortium.”We, along with our partners and communities, will be working on developing the programs for students to put them in the offices of rural providers, giving them the experiences they need,” Frank said.The curriculum will be based on different disciplines, she said.The economy, difficult in most parts of New Hampshire and even more so in the North Country, can be a “challenge” when recruiting providers who may have to move families need jobs and schools.”There really is great need for providers in rural areas,” said Frank.The North Country consortium was among 20 groups across the country to be awarded funds. – CINDY KIBBE/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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