Back in the early 1990’s the Tennessee Community Services Agency, known then as twelve independent Community Health Agencies, focused their efforts in two areas, recruiting primary care providers and assisting communities in developing community health clinics.
The Physicians Recruitment Program was very successful in finding, educating, and placing doctors and nurse practitioners into some of the most rural and highest need counties in Tennessee. This program promised to repay MDs or NPs student loans in exchange for a time commitment of service to a rural area and the guarantee to accept Medicaid patients. Tennessee used funds from an abandoned property fund to fund the program. It proved to be a great success.
The CHA also assisted communities to develop community health clinics. Using Community Health Councils or other similar groups as the foundation, CHAs would assist communities in navigating through the process of opening a community health clinic. Again, partnering with the Department of Heath, we had great success in this area.