Recruiting to Build a Strong CHC Workforce

May 04, 2021

Established in 2009 as a service to our members, the Iowa PCA Recruitment Center program assists Iowa community health centers (CHCs) in recruiting and retaining a high-quality workforce to care for underserved populations in both rural and urban areas.

Across the nation, the provider shortage continues to grow. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) estimates that the United States will have a shortage of between 54,100 to 139,000 providers by 2033. This shortage is felt most profoundly in rural and underserved communities. The Recruitment Center aims to assist these communities by attracting qualified candidates that are a good fit for the community and the CHC. Using a variety of tactics – posting job openings on multiple platforms, communicating with potential candidates, phone screening qualified candidates, and presenting candidate summaries and resumes to health centers – the Recruitment Center provides efficiency for CHCs.

The Recruitment Center provides tremendous value to the CHCs across Iowa by partnering with them to recruit quality candidates. By combining resources, participating CHCs have access to a more robust strategy for recruiting providers. The Recruitment Center primarily targets providers including MD/DOs, Dentists, NPs, PAs, RNs, Dental Hygienists, etc. However, the center also recruits for C-Suite level and other managerial level positions as requested.

One of the most important tools for recruiting providers to CHCs are loan repayment opportunities in the state of Iowa to entice candidates to serve in rural and underserved areas. These tools include the National Health Service Corps and Teaching Health Centers. The Recruitment Center is also working to tap into the pipeline of upcoming talent by attending career fairs in the Midwest region and by partnering with universities to retain local candidates and encourage them to stay in Iowa.

The Recruitment Center continues to evolve and find innovative ways to expand our services. In addition to the partnerships the Recruitment Center has built with MD/DO, dental, and NP/PA programs, it is continuing work to create more partnerships with nursing, dental assistant, and dental hygienist programs.

Accessing high quality, affordable healthcare is a fundamental right that all Iowans should be able to utilize. Due to the growing needs of our communities, focusing on recruiting and retaining staff is critical to help CHCs achieve our vision of health equity for all. The healthcare system is moving towards value-based care – a shift from quantity to quality – so ensuring we can expand CHCs’ capacity to care is critical. Additional providers and support staff will allow us to continue to serve more patients and provide community-based solutions to address the needs of our communities. 


Placement Highlights

  • Diligent efforts from health centers and Recruitment Center staff have resulted in over 100 placements made since the program's establishment. 
  • FY  2020-2021 has been a record-breaking year with 25 placements.