July 03--Gritman Medical Center has been redesignated as a member of the National Health Service Corps, which should help bring more primary care physicians to Moscow and Latah County by offering them relief from college and medical school loans.
"It's a national program that provides scholarships and lower payment methods for medical, dental and other health care providers that agree to practice in a part of the country that has a care provider shortage," said Connie Osborn, Gritman chief quality officer.
Marty Johncox, Gritman public relations director, said Latah County is "underserved for primary care providers. This designation will really help us."
Gritman runs primary care clinics in Troy, Kendrick and Potlatch.
A Gritman news release said a 2013 study from the Idaho Department of Labor ranked Idaho 50th among the states for the number of primary care physicians per capita. This includes general practitioners, internists, obstetrics, gynecologists and pediatricians. In Latah County, the release said, a study shows for every 10,000 residents there are about 5.5 primary care providers, or one doctor per 1,800 potential patients.
Osborn said with the help of the NHSC, Idaho, and especially Latah County, can attract more specialists.
Johncox said practitioners who come to Latah County through the NHSC program will probably work in one of its three primary care practices.
(c)2014 the Moscow-Pullman Daily News (Moscow, Idaho)
Visit the Moscow-Pullman Daily News (Moscow, Idaho) at www.dnews.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services