Rural Health and Primary Care

What's New and Featured Resources


Applications are being accepted for the 2018 Faculty Loan Repayment Program now through June 28, 2018.

The Faculty Loan Repayment Program provides individuals who have an interest in eligible health profession careers with the opportunity to receive loan repayment while serving as faculty members at accredited and eligible health professions schools.

Participants will receive up to $40,000 for two (2) years of service to repay the outstanding principal and interest of qualifying educational loans. Applicants must obtain all qualifying educational loans prior to the application deadline of June 28, 2018. For more information:


Applications are being accepted for the 2018 NURSE Corps Scholarship Program now through June 14, 2018.

The NURSE Corps Scholarship Program awards funds to students enrolled in a diploma, associate, baccalaureate, or graduate degree nursing program in exchange for their commitment to serve in high-need, underserved communities. Scholarship support includes payment of tuition, required fees, other reasonable educational costs, and a monthly living stipend. After completion of graduation/training, recipients can fulfill their service commitment at a number of approved health care facilities currently experiencing a critical shortage of nurses. Each scholar serves for a minimum of two years and receives one year of financial support (up to four years) for each additional year of service. For more information:

Educational Opportunities

Northeast Regional Telehealth Conference

June 5-6, 2018, Portland

Over 150 stakeholders from across the northeast and beyond will gather to learn about telehealth best practice and innovation, network with colleagues, and identify opportunities to advance their telehealth programs. Join us to discuss legal and regulatory issues, business planning, provider and consumer engagement, and more!

For more information:

  • Conference website External site

  • J-1 Visa Waiver Program

    The J-1 Visa Waiver Program, also known as the Conrad State 30 Program, helps address shortages of qualified doctors in rural areas. In exchange for a waiver of certain visa restrictions, including the two-year foreign residency requirement, international medical graduates agree to complete their medical training in the United States and practice primary care for at least three years at an eligible site.

    Please be advised that the Maine Rural Health and Primary Care Program has received 30 J-1 applications for the 2017-2018 year filling all available slots. We will not accept any further applications until October 1, 2018 when the new cycle will begin. All applications sent prior to October 1, 2018 will be returned.

    Related resources:

    Certification Program for Primary Care Tax Credit

    The Department of Health and Human Services has awarded the tax credit certification to eligible primary care professionals for tax year 2017. Certificates were awarded in accordance with 10-144 Chapter 298 – Rules Governing the Certification Program for Primary Care Tax Credit (effective date: May 19, 2016).

    This serves as notice to unsuccessful applicants. No other notice will be sent. Unsuccessful applicants may reapply in a subsequent tax year.

    The time limited submission period for tax year 2018 is between the dates of January 15, 2019 and February 15, 2019. Only applications postmarked during this time-limited submission period will be considered by the department for the applicable tax year. Applications will be made available on this website no later than Tuesday, January 9, 2019.

    Adopted Rule took effect May 19, 2016

    "Rules Governing the Certification Program for Primary Care Tax Credit"

    This adopted rule implements a certification program administered by the Department of Health and Human Services in coordination with Maine Revenue Services. Up to 5 eligible primary care professionals will be certified annually by DHHS to receive an income tax credit while the program is in effect. Eligible primary care professionals must have outstanding student loans and make a commitment to practice full time for 5 years in an underserved area of Maine. The statute and rule include definitions, eligibility requirements, the application and selection process, as well as department monitoring, self-reporting and compliance requirements. The statutory language is not repeated in the rule. Refer to the statute for compliance requirements and to these rules that supplement the statute. The intent of the state income tax credit certification program is to provide an incentive to recruit and retain primary care professionals to practice in areas of Maine with an identified shortage of primary health care professionals. The income tax credit program is funded for 5 years.


    The 2017 Rural Health Report Card compiled by Rural Health Quarterly is Out

    Did you know?

    • 40.8 percent of Mainers live in one of Maine's 11 rural counties.

    • Maine ranks 2nd in the United States for the number of primary care physicians practicing in rural counties (99.5 per 100,000).

    • Cancer, heart disease and chronic lower respiratory disease are the first, second and third leading causes of death in Maine.
        Read the full report card (pages 52-53) (PDF)

    Link to the Rural Health Quarterly External site

    Cybersecurity Toolkit for Rural Hospitals and Clinics

    Ransomware and cybercrime are growing threats for all healthcare facilities – big or small. Protecting a facility for cyber threats can be a daunting task. However, failure to protect a facility for cyber attacks can result in fees, fines, litigation, media stories, mistrust and decreased market capture. The toolkit is organized into four steps to guide rural hospitals and clinics in developing and fostering a well-rounded cybersecurity program, including awareness, assessment, implementation & remediation, and education. This toolkit includes a survey of available resources from various governmental and non-profit organizations. It includes checklists and tools that are appropriate for all audiences, including hospitals and clinics in rural settings.

    Downloads and Links:


    Are you an employer in a rural area looking for a health care provider? Are you a health care professional looking for an opportunity in Maine?

    3Rnet External site is a national network that matches health care professionals with employers in rural areas. Register today! It is a free resource for both health care professionals and health care facilities located in rural Maine.

    Promoting access to quality health care for Mainers living in rural and underserved areas.

    Our Priorities

    • Increase resources and reduce costs for health care statewide with a focus on rural areas;
    • Facilitate communication among stakeholders on rural health issues;
    • Increase access to primary, mental and dental health care services for underserved populations;
    • Reduce geographic, financial, transportation and other barriers that prevent access to health care services.

    DHHS News

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