Rural Health & Primary Care

The mission and function of the Rural Health and Primary Care office is to support communities and stakeholders that provide innovative and effective access to quality health care services with a focus on the low income, uninsured, and Medicaid populations of New Hampshire.

Primary Care Office

The Primary Care Office (PCO) works with other agencies and stakeholders to support and improve access to comprehensive, culturally competent, quality, primary health care services for underserved and vulnerable populations. The PCO is responsible for federal health care shortage designations.

State Office of Rural Health

The State Office of Rural Health (SORH) offers technical assistance to rural health care providers and organizations and provides health care-related information to rural health care stakeholders. SORH serves as a liaison between rural health care organizations and many DHHS programs. 

Rural Hospital Programs

Rural hospitals are a crucial part of New Hampshire's health care delivery system and provide essential emergency department services, inpatient care, and care coordination services to areas that otherwise would not have access. The programs that support them include the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program, which supports the Critical Access Hospitals, and the Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program.

Health Professions Data Center

The Health Professions Data Center (HPDC) collects key practice and capacity data from primary care-associated, licensed health care professionals in New Hampshire during license renewal. Data is used for health care access planning and workforce assessment. Reports are released annually for public consumption.

Workforce Development

Rural Health and Primary Care (RHPC) works with each of the above program areas to increase or retain the supply of health professionals serving New Hampshire. There is a particular focus on those professionals whose service will meet the needs of rural and underserved populations. RHPC administers New Hampshire's State Loan Repayment Program, the J-1 Visa Waiver (Conrad 30) program, and the National Interest Waiver program, and coordinates clinician recruitment and retention efforts with Bi-State Primary Care Association's Recruitment Center.

Legislative Commission on the Interdisciplinary Primary Care Workforce

Established in 2010, the Legislative Commission on the Interdisciplinary Primary Care Workforce, formerly the Legislative Commission on Primary Care Workforce Issues (RSA 126-T), is an ongoing commission to plan and advocate for policy changes related to maintaining and strengthening an effective primary care workforce in New Hampshire, with a special concern for rural and other underserved areas.