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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county & community efforts.

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Health Resources and Access

Contact the Florida Department of Health

  •  850-245-4009
  •  

    Mailing Location

    4052 Bald Cypress Way 

    Bin A-05 

    Tallahassee, FL 32304


Within the Division of Public Health Statistics and Performance Management, the Health Resources and Access Unit (HRA) administers various programs and services that improve access to health care services and health care professionals in medically underserved communities throughout Florida. 

HRA


These HRA offices leverage local, state and federal resources to improve access to health care services and health care professionals in medically underserved communities throughout Florida. 

Office of Rural Health (ORH) 

The ORH collaborates with state, local, and national stakeholders to integrate programs and coordinate rural health activities related to critical access hospital (CAH) sustainability, population health, and physician workforce. 
  • Small Rural Hospital Improvement Grant Program (SHIP) – The SHIP federal grant program assists small, rural hospitals with their quality improvement efforts and adapt to changing payment systems. SHIP provides eligible facilities with small annual investments in one or more of the following areas: Value-Based Purchasing; Accountable Care Organization or Shared Savings; and Payment Bundling or Prospective Payment Systems.
  • State Office of Rural Health Grant Program (SORH) - The SORH helps link small rural communities with state and federal resources to develop long-term solutions to rural health issues. The Office funds the Florida Rural Health Association (FRHA) to help coordinate activities and communications throughout the state and supports FRHA’s Project ECHO hub which links medical specialists with rural primary care providers. 
Rural Health Networks and Local Health Councils 
  • Rural Health Networks (RHS) - Focusing on innovative rural healthcare models, patient safety and healthcare quality issues, RHNs coordinate rural healthcare delivery systems and include safety net providers (e.g., federally qualified health centers, county health departments, rural health clinics), regional community mental health center, primary care practices, hospitals, the regional hospice and the regional Area Health Education Center. 
  • Local Health Councils (LHCs) - Local health councils study the impact of various initiatives on the health care system providing assistance to the public and private sectors and creating and disseminating materials designed to increase community awareness of health care issues. 

 COVID-19 related projects 

  • CDC COVID-19 Health Disparities RHN project 
  • HRSA COVID-19 Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program grants for small rural hospitals 

Primary Care Office (PCO) 

The PCO administers activities that improve access to primary care and preventive health services in areas of the state lacking health care professionals or including populations lacking access to primary care. 
  • Foreign Physician Waiver Programs (CONRAD 30) - The CONRAD 30 program allows J-1 foreign medical graduates (FMGs) to apply for a waiver of the two-year foreign residence requirement upon completion of the J-1 exchange visitor program. 
  • Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) Designations - A HPSA is a geographic area, population group, or health care facility that has been designated by the Health Resources and Services Administration as having a shortage of health professionals in the areas of Primary Care, Dental Health, and Mental Health. 
  • National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Program - The NHSC connects primary health care clinicians to people with limited access to healthcare by providing a loan repayment program for clinicians who provide services through an enrolled NHSC site. NHSC-approved sites provide outpatient, primary health services in HPSAs. 
  • Physician Workforce Advisory Council (PWAC) - Established in section 381.4018, Florida Statute, the PWAC serves in an advisory capacity to the Department assisting with the identification of the state’s current and future physician workforce needs. 

Volunteer Health Services (VHS)

VHS administers two volunteer programs authorized by Chapters 110 and 766, Florida Statutes, that encourage maximum volunteer participation to increase access to quality health care for Florida's medically underserved and uninsured residents.

  • Chapter 110 Volunteer Program - The Chapter 110 Volunteer Program provides opportunities for anyone who wants to donate goods and/or their services to those in need. Many volunteer opportunities are available in DOH facilities to individuals with clerical, administrative, technical, and professional skills.
  • Volunteer Health Care Provider Program- The Volunteer Health Care Provider Program, section 766.1115, Florida Statutes, allows private licensed health care providers to volunteer their services to the medically indigent residents of Florida with incomes at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level and be under the state's sovereign immunity.