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Shortage Designations

The Center for Rural Health staff work with local health care providers and interested community organizations to determine the availability of primary care, dental and mental health providers in a county or service area (a service area is usually a portion of a county). If the area meets the federal criteria, staff submit an application to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services requesting a designation as a shortage or underserved area. The Center for Rural Health maintains a database of health care providers practicing in rural and underserved areas.

Shortage area designations allow providers to participate in a variety of different state and federal programs. The designations include health professional shortage areas (HPSA), medically underserved areas (MUA), and medically underserved populations (MUP).

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