Pennsylvania AHEC Program Director Dr. Ben Fredrick testified on rural health care workforce shortages at an April 13 Rural Legislative Briefing at the Capitol.
Dr. Fredrick’s slides showed updated primary care, mental health, and dental Health Professional Shortage Areas in Pennsylvania and reviewed the current and projected supply of these front-line health professionals.
Assuring a rural health care workforce for Pennsylvania will require rural students entering health professions, rural training opportunities for health professional students, and rural opportunities for professional practice and personal fulfillment, Dr. Fredrick concluded.
Pennsylvania AHEC encourages high school students in Pennsylvania’s rural and underserved communities to learn more about various health professions through its virtual SEARCH Academy. Pennsylvania AHEC also is preparing to launch a college-level Ambassadors Program to support rural and underserved students in becoming primary care physicians and other health professionals.
The Rural Legislative Briefing was co-chaired by state Rep. Kathy Rapp and state Sen. Michele Brooks. The briefing was coordinated by the Pennsylvania Rural Health Association and a variety of other organizations committed to rural health care in Pennsylvania, including the PA Office of Rural Health, PA Association of Community Health Centers, Center for Rural PA, and PA AHEC.