The Community Practitioner Program has historically provided support to providers in rural and underserved areas of North Carolina by providing medical school loan repayment and other means of supporting their practice locations. In 2007, the CPP underwent a review by the UNC Sheps Center to create baseline measures describing the amount of funding provided to participants, their tenure in the program, demographic location and residency information. In addition, exit interviews have been conducted with participants completing their five-year program commitment or early departure. Information gleaned from the Sheps Center review, exit interviews and national provider recruitment and retention data suggests that loan repayment is important but not always the entire reason providers decide to stay in their practice location or rural community.
The CPP Innovative Practice Program recognizes participants’ concerns regarding the needs of the patient population residing in their local community, professional development and the desire of practitioners to assume a leadership role in addressing these needs. The CPP Innovative Practice Program will support practitioners in customizing an innovative practice design to assist them and their communities.
- Health Promotion/Disease Prevention – Communities in North Carolina are inundated with preventable chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and stroke. Primary care is often the first line of defense against these diseases, however, a sustaining and systemic effort includes medicine, public health and practice management strategies that maximize providers opportunities to keep patients well, not just treat disease.
- Mental Health – Primary care providers are often the first to encounter patients with mental health issues. However, without the support of a trained mental health provider, practitioners feel ill equipped to deal with patients with complex health issues that include mental health symptoms. Innovative practice models are needed to pilot strategies for dealing with mental health symptoms in the primary care setting or primary care in the mental health setting. NC ICARE Program is piloting practice models to supply “what works and what doesn’t” strategies. The CPP Innovative Practice Program will offer similar opportunities to CPP participants.
- Quality Improvement
- Patient-centered care
- Medical Practice Incubator – Providers are reliant on the local workforce to create a successful practice and quality service to their patients. Rural underserved areas of the state may lack qualified personnel to assist providers in their practices. For that reason, a medical practice incubator could be used to cultivate the local community and provide a reliable workforce to increase provider success, provider recruitment and retention.
Click on the links below to read about participants in the Innovative Practice Program.
Community Practitioner participants are eligible for additional loan and practice assistance after they complete two years in their practice site. The amount of assistance provided will depend on a number of factors:
- Remaining loan debt
- Documentation of medical need and patient population served
- Support from practice site administration
- Evidence of involvement of the community, medicine, public health and business description of how the entire practice will be involved in the project
- Program evaluation, completion of written program reports and presentations to the NCMS membership and other professional organizations
Application for the Community Practitioner Innovative Practice Program is a separate application process from the general CPP. The purpose is to expand the role of the provider in the practice, leadership and creating strategies to address healthcare needs in their community. The NCMSF staff will meet with interested practitioners to develop their application, interview practice staff and determine appropriate benchmarks and outcome measures. The NCMSF will continue to provide technical assistance and monitor progress.
Get the latest updates on participating practices and this program by clicking on the category “Innovative Practice Program” at the News & Events page.