Blue Cross NC, UNC-Chapel Hill Collaborate to Expand Rural Primary Care

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Blue Cross NC, UNC-Chapel Hill Collaborate to Expand Rural Primary Care

 Blue Cross NC to invest $800,000 in new UNC-Chapel Hill program that improves access to care, education and employment opportunities throughout Rockingham County  
 
(Durham, N.C. – Nov. 8, 2018) — Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill today announced the UNC School of Medicine’s new Primary Care Rural Advancement Program to address a need for better access to healthcare in Rockingham County. Made possible by an $800,000 investment from Blue Cross NC, the program will increase patient-centered primary care and recruit more residents to enter health care professions in the county and the neighboring area.

Along with UNC Health Care’s purchase of the former Morehead Memorial Hospital (now UNC Rockingham Health Care) in Rockingham County last year, the program will help prepare the region to expand its ability to provide health care in the rural community.

“We want people to have access to high-quality primary care no matter where in North Carolina they call home,” said Dr. Patrick Conway, President and CEO of Blue Cross NC. “This investment will help make sure primary care physicians get the resources, education, and training they need to practice in rural communities.”

The North Carolina General Assembly is supporting the program with additional funding to augment Blue Cross NC’s investment. The 2016 Rockingham County Community Health Assessment Report states that the county has the lowest rate of primary care physicians per 10,000 residents at 4.7, compared to neighboring counties and to the state average of 7.6.[1] It can be challenging to work as a health care provider in rural communities, largely because of limited access to resources like specialized medical and social services. The Primary Care Rural Advancement Program will incorporate multidisciplinary opportunities for students pursuing medicine, nursing, pharmacy and other health professions to better prepare …

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