Pacific Basin Primary Care Office (PCO)
The Pacific Basin PCO is funded under a cooperative agreement between HRSA’s Bureau of Health Workforce and Bureau of Clinician Recruitment and Service (BCRS), Division of Policy and Shortage Designations, and PIHOA. The PIHOA is one of more than 50 HRSA-funded PCOs mobilized to improve access to primary healthcare across the US, but is the only one specifically targeting the USAPIs.
The Pacific Basin PCO has been serving the USAPIs since 2009 supporting three overarching goals that contribute to health equality around availability, access, and services, including: 1) development and implementation of Statewide Primary Care Needs Assessments (SPCNAs) in all USAPI sites, 2) provide technical assistance for attaining (and maintaining) HRSA Shortage Designations whereby the main intent of these shortage designations are to ensure that the USAPIs’ Health Provider Shortage Area (HPSA) and/or medically Under-served Area/Population (MUAP) Scores continue to qualify them for federal resources such as CHC and rural health funding programs, and eligibility for National Health Service Corp (NHSC) primary care provider placements in areas of highest need; and 3) provide technical assistance and identify/enhance collaborations that seek to expand access to primary care in the USAPIs, including assistance to recruit and place NHSC primary care providers as a short-term remedy for the ongoing shortages of primary care providers in USAPI sites. To date, all nine USAPI hospitals and CHCs are NHSC-certified, or eligible to receive NHSC provider placements in their primary health care systems as a result of the work of PIHOA’s Pacific Basin PCO.
Dr. Angela Techur-Pedro, MO, MA, MA, MPH, PhD
Pacific Island Primary Care Office Coordinator