While the shortage of physicians is national in scope, the demand in rural areas has traditionally been stronger. Fifty-one million people, or about one-fifth of the population live in non-metropolitan areas, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Twenty million of these live in Federally-designated Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs). The threshold ratio of population to primary care physicians is 3500:1.
Chautauqua County has 4 HPSA designations including 2 primary care, one dental and one mental health. The two primary care designations include rural Chautauqua (geographic) and Jamestown (low income).
Dental services have a full county low income HPSA. CCHN is actively involved in a number of initiatives, outlined in this section, which center around physician recruitment and growing the healthcare service sector.