The future of primary health care depends on educating and training the healers who will take care of us tomorrow. Building the pipeline of primary care providers at Community Health Centers is of particular concern because almost every health center is experiencing workforce challenges, whether it is recruiting staff or retaining it. A NACHC report released last year revealed that 95 percent of health centers are currently experiencing at least one clinical vacancy, and more than two-thirds (69 percent) are recruiting for at least one family physician. A.T. Still University (ATSU) is helping to fill that void with the Hometown Scholars initiative. Hometown Scholars was developed to train exceptional medical, dental, and physician assistant students who are committed to serving at their local health center. To be eligible for the scholarship, ATSU students must be endorsed by a health center leader.
They are people like Christina Humphries. Humphries is studying at ATSU’s Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health and has a mission-driven passion for serving the medically disenfranchised. She grew up in rural Texas and experienced firsthand the disparities in access to medical care and resources.
“It has been my passion to reduce these inequalities,” she says. “I am grateful that ATSU supports me in my work with underserved populations and community health centers.”
NACHC has partnered with A.T. Still University for many years to develop strategies for strengthening and training the primary care workforce. The Hometown Scholars initiative aims to recruit physician, dentist, and physician assistant applicants from health center populations. To learn more please visit NACHC’s workforce partnerships page.