MSNBC has a great story about National Health Service Corps members who serve remote rural communities on the first annual Corps Community Day, which is part of Primary Care Week. It highlights two health professional Corps members who work (or worked) “in places that otherwise have a difficult time attracting primary care providers for a variety of reasons ranging from remote locations and scarce resources to very disadvantaged patients.”
“I’m it,” says [Sarah Baker, FNP] the 39-year-old family nurse practitioner, whose duties have ranged from an office visit for a 2-day-old newborn to a surgical session with a 75-year-old man who nearly lost an ear in a fall down an elevator shaft.
“I give them their flu shots, I give them their shingles shots,” she said. “I know I’ve kept some of them out of the hospital.”
Baker has held her position at the Northland Community Health Center [McClusky, ND] for three years, thanks in large part to a growing federal program that will pay off $34,000 in nursing school debt in exchange for her rural work.
NHSC members has climbed from about 3,600 providers serving some 3.7 million patients to more than 10,000 clinicians serving some 10.5 million patients, HHS officials reported yesterday in a press release. That is good news for health centers which rely on the NHSC to build their workforce and continue to meet the demand for care.