Performance Improvement 2001. Evaluation of the Health Resources and Services Administration's National Health Service Corps Program


The purpose of this project was to study the effectiveness of the National Health Service Corps (NHSC), including examination of the various mechanisms for training and recruiting providers, placing them in underserved areas, and retaining them in primary care and related professions. Prior studies have tended to define NHSC "effectiveness" narrowly, e.g., using retention at a particular site as a measure. This study again looks at the question of retention and sought answers to other vital questions as well. For example, To what extent has the NHSC fulfilled its mission of building self-sufficient health care delivery systems in areas where health care professionals are in short supply? To what extent do NHSC mentor or advocacy relationships help students and providers to practice medicine in underserved areas? Have NHSC providers improved clinical practice standards in underserved areas? The results presented in this report are based on two samples of alumni and current NHSC clinicians. The findings from the study indicate underserved areas continue to need NHSC placements if they are to provide basic health care to a growing and diverse population. The NHSC program not only provides services but also contributes in many ways to extending and expanding access to basic health care services and improving the health care delivery system in underserved communities.

AGENCY SPONSOR: Bureau of Primary Health Care

FEDERAL CONTACT: Richard Niska, 301-594-4204

PIC ID: 6357

PERFORMER: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., Washington, DC