From Alaska to New York City, the National Health Service Corps serves patients in communities with limited access to health care. Many people live in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA), which means they go without essential health services or have to travel long distances to see a primary health care provider.
Today, nearly 10,200 primary care medical, dental, and mental and behavioral health providers are working nationwide at NHSC-approved sites in rural areas, in the most distressed inner-city neighborhoods, and in small towns in the frontier west. In addition to Corps providers currently providing care to more than 1,400 students, residents, and health providers receive NHSC scholarships or participate in the Student to Service Loan Repayment program to prepare to practice.
Currently, nearly 11 millionn people, many of whom have no health insurance, rely on NHSC providers to keep them healthy and treat their medical, dental, and mental and behavioral health needs. These providers work at NHSC-approved sites, all of which must provide care to patients, regardless of their ability to pay.
About half of all NHSC-approved sites are Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)-supported Health Centers, known as Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). Nearly 40 percent of Health Center patients have no health insurance.
Other types of NHSC-approved sites, where patients in communities with limited access to care receive their health services, include:
- Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC)
- FQHC Look-Alike
- Rural Health Clinics
- Hospital-affiliated Primary Care Out Patient Clinic
- Indian Health Service, Tribal Clinic, and Urban Indian Health Clinic (ITU)
- IHS and Tribal Hospitals
- State or Federal Correctional Facility
- Private Practice (Solo/Group)
- Other Health Facilities:
- Community Mental Health Facility
- Community Outpatient Facility
- Critical Access Hospitals
- Free Clinic
- Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Health Service Corps
- Mobile Unit
- School-based Health Program
- State and County Department of Health Clinic
All NHSC-approved sites are located in Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs).