Rural Health and Primary Care

Where we've been, where we are and where we are going...


What's New and Featured Resources

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services in collaboration with the Maine Department of Labor, is hosting a Health Workforce Summit on April 29, 2024 at the Augusta Civic Center. Registration for the event is $35. For more information about the event and for the registration link, please visit the 2024 Health Workforce Summit webpage.

The Rural Medical Access Program is now accepting applications through May 3, 2024 at close of business. The program promotes obstetrical and prenatal care in federally designated Medically Underserved Areas/Populations and Primary Care Health Professional Shortage Areas of Maine through assistance with insurance premiums for eligible obstetricians and family or general practice physicians. To be considered for RMAP, physicians must be practicing in Maine, have performed deliveries and/or provided prenatal care and have malpractice insurance for prenatal care and/or obstetrical services, all for at least the period of 7/1/2023 – 12/31/2023. To find out if your site qualifies, you can use the HRSA website.

You can apply for the program here or learn more information here.

The Northern Border Regional Commission J-1 Program will start accepting applications for Specialist Physicians on April 1, 2024. Our office has updated our NBRC Guide to include the specialty care requirements. In general, the requirements are the same but there are a few additions for specialty applicants. You can read the press release here.

The National Health Service Corps Nurse Corp Scholarship is now accepting applications. This pays for tuition, fees, and other educational costs, plus a monthly stipend for living expenses. In return, you work at a critical shortage facility when you graduate. Applications for the program are due by May 2, 2024 at 7:30 PM ET. For more information on the program and to apply, visit the BHS portal.

The New England Rural Health Association (NERHA) is inviting you to join a three-part webinar series presented by 3RNET. This series is called "Recruitment for Retention Strategies for Rural and Underserved Communities". It will follow 3RNET's recruiting for retention guiding principles and best practices. It will evaluate current workforce trends driving today's job market and discuss how this impacts your hiring abilities. The first webinar will be held on February 2, 2024 from 10:00 - 11:30 AM EST. For more information on the other webinars and for information on how to register, please see this NERHA & 3RNET Webinar Series Flyer (PDF).

The Department of Health and Human Services Office of Climate Change and Health Equity (OCCHE) is leading a program over the next couple of months to assist safety net healthcare organizations take advantage of tax credits and grant programs created by the Inflation Reduction Act. They are offering a series of webinars and break out sessions to help hospitals, health centers and other providers learn how to successfully access and take advantage of these programs. Please go to Catalytic Program on Utilizing the IRA | to learn more about this program and to sign up for the webinars if this is of interest to your hospital.

Recently, the Rural Health and Primary Care Program hosted a webinar on the new Northern Border Regional Commission J-1 Waiver Program. You can view the slides (PDF) or watch a recording of the webinar (Passcode: b!u^2evs).

Also, our office has developed a guide to assist you in developing an application for the NBRC J-1 Waiver Program. View a copy of this guide (PDF).

As of December 5, the Northern Border Regional Commission’s (NBRC) J-1 Waiver Program is live and ready to accept applications. The Maine Rural Health and Primary Care Program will be responsible for reviewing all applications. The process is going to be very similar to the Conrad 30 J-1 Waiver Program in Maine. The NBRC will only be accepting applications from physicians practicing primary and mental healthcare during the first phase of the rollout. The employing facilities can be located in a HPSA of any score or an MUA. There is no deadline to accept these applications. However, each individual facility can only apply for 5 of these waivers per year.

For more information on the NBRC’s Visa Waiver program, please visit the Northern Border Regional Commission website. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to our office.

Matthew Webster held a webinar hosted by the Rural Health and Primary Care office on October 17th , 2023. The presentation, Immigration Pathways for Recruitment, described the different immigration pathways that a facility can take to recruit a foreign trained physician. If you were unable to attend the webinar, or if you would like to watch it again, you can find the recording (Passcode: ZE6q+E%7) or view a copy of the slides.

The J-1 Guide for the 2023 cycle has been released. You can find the guide here. A link to the Smartsheet will be available in the coming weeks. Please feel free to reach out to our office with any questions.

Recently, Kristen Ogden, RN, from the Compliance Team gave a presentation to Maine’s Rural Health Clinics on the Patient Centered Medical Home. View the slides from the presentation (PDF). The recording can be found here, Passcode: M=8AW@kw.

Recently, Kate Hill, RN, from the Compliance Team gave a presentation to Maine’s Rural Health Clinics on Regulatory Updates.

The slides from this presentation can be found here: (Maine RHC June 2023 (PDF)
You can find the recording of the presentation here.
Passcode: Crp0ZH.$

The 2023 Kids Count Data Book has recently been released. This year’s book focuses on key indicators like Child Poverty, Child Welfare, and Teen Mental Health to name a few. You can find the data book on the Maine Children’s Alliance website (PDF).

Thanks to all who attended the Listening Session on the Statewide Rational Service Areas. For those who were unable to attend or would like to rewatch, the session was recorded and can be found here: Watch the Recording (passcode cv0zZv$4). You can also look at the handouts that were discussed in the presentation (PDF) and you can download the slides from the presentation here.

Please reach out to our office with any questions.

3RNET has recently launched their 3RNET PLUS TOOLS. Please follow this link (PDF) for a one pager with information on the 3RNET PLUS TOOLS including a video.