Chautauqua County, like many communities is facing a shortage of health professionals. For this reason, CCHN has a number of initiatives focused on increasing the number of healthcare professionals.
Healthcare Workforce Advisory Committee
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. 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.
Chautauqua County is not immune from the physician shortage phenomenon faced by large and small communities across the nation.
Physician recruitment has become increasingly competitive as the demand for and supply of physicians has changed. Both the growth and the graying of the U.S. population have significantly increased the demand for healthcare services. While on the supply side many physicians are reaching retirement age and fewer doctors are coming in.
There are a number of indicators that point to a growing physician shortage in Chautauqua County. 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.
Stan Lundine Health Care Professional Endowment
Funds from this 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.
Local Medical Student Opportunities
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Medical Education Outreach Community Program (MECO)
The MECO program is a 6-week, paid experience 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. Medical students can make requests of specific disciplines that they would like to explore before choosing the area they may choose to specialize.
Medical Student Mixers
Twice a year CCHN and the IDS host a networking event to reach out to 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 conections and learn about exciting employment opportunities right here in Chautauqua County.
For more information about opportunities for local medical students, please call Adam Puleo at 716.338.0010 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org