Workforce 2011 Dec student mixer.JPG

Chautauqua County is facing a shortage of health professionals. For this reason, CCHN has a number of initiatives focused on increasing the number of healthcare professionals in our region.

Health Professional Shortage Area - HPSA Designation

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. 20 million of these people live in Federally-designated Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs). The threshold ratio of population to primary care physicians is 3500:1. Physician recruitment has become increasingly competitive as the demand for and supply of physicians has changed. Both the growth and the aging of the U.S. population have significantly increased the demand for the healthcare workforce. While on the supply side, physicians are reaching retirement age and fewer doctors are coming in. 

Chautauqua County has four federal HPSA designations including two primary care, one dental and one mental health. According to the Community Needs Assessment 2008 published by Chautauqua Opportunities, Inc., there are significant challenges in Chautauqua County in terms of health and mental health care access, exacerbated by a shortage of practitioners, lack of transportation and an ever increasing elderly population. For more information about physician recruitment efforts locally select this link to download – Physician Recruitment in Chautauqua County: Challenges and Opportunities/2009.

Developing Our Healthcare Workforce

Stan Lundine Health Care Professional Endowment

Funds from an endowment created by CCHN’s first director, former Congressman and Lt. Gov. of NYS Stan Lundine, are available annually to Chautauqua Integrated Delivery System (IDS) members for costs related to recruiting or retaining physicians within Chautauqua County.

Medical Education Community Orientation

The Medical Education Community Orientation (MECO) program is a six week paid summer externship reserved for 1st and 2nd year medical students from Chautauqua County. The program offers a unique opportunity to rotate through and explore multiple disciplines in the medical field. Students are able to discover career options, gain first-hand experience in the medical profession, and build professional ties to our community. 

Dental Education Community Orientation Program (DECO)

The DECO program is modeled after the successful MECO program, and is reserved for dental students from Chautauqua County. The program allows students to rotate through general dentistry as well as a variety of specialties including oral surgery, endodontics, orthodontics and dental pharmacy. 

Medical Student Mixers

Twice a year CCHN and the IDS host a networking event for our local students enrolled in medical school or residency programs to allow them the opportunity to meet our physicians and hospital administrators. Students can build important connections and learn about exciting employment opportunities in Chautauqua County.

The 2017 Summer Mixer was held on Monday, July 3rd, 2017 from 6-8 pm at Gialy's Bar & Grill in Jamestown. 

For more information about opportunities for local students, please contact Ann Abdella at 716-338-0010 or

Healthcare Career Advantage Talent Pipeline Development Program

CCHN has partnered with the Workforce Investment Board (WIB) on the Healthcare Career Advantage Talent Pipeline Development Program, a grow-your-own initiative funded by the Sheldon Foundation and the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation. The program has served over 375 students from six different school districts by introducing them to healthcare career possibilities through interactive workshops and career fairs as well as paid internships in the healthcare field. 

For more information, contact Katie Geise, Executive Director of the Chautauqua Workforce Investment Board at 716-487-5116. 

Hello Jamestown, NY 2017 Video

If you’re looking for a career in healthcare, Chautauqua County is a great place to live, work, and play. This 5 minute video shows some of the reasons why! Contact us to learn more about employment and training opportunities