Federal Cooperative Agreement


State Primary Care Offices are funded in part by the Department of Health and Human Services. These offices are located in state departments of health to represent the needs of the underserved populations and the health professionals who serve them. Federal cooperative agreement expectations for state Primary Care Offices include:

1. Organizational Effectiveness/Fostering Collaboration

  • Be an effective unit of state government that positively affects state policies and resources addressing primary care for the underserved;
  • Foster collaboration across and within various levels of government, communities, and nonprofit organizations;
  • Effectively collect and use data related to workforce issues and underserved populations or those subject to health disparities;
  • Partnerships with public, private and voluntary sectors with similar missions and/or commitment to the underserved;
  • Actively participate in statewide commissions and working groups that directly impact provision of services to the medically underserved or reduction of health disparities.

2. Technical Assistance to Organizations/Communities wishing to Expand Access to Primary Care for Underserved Populations

  • Participate in collaborative partnerships with other entities to provide technical assistance to communities and organizations interested in expanding access to care for the underserved;
  • Work with other entities to seek ways through which strong partnerships can be maintained and strengthened to assist with the growth and support of health centers and to encourage that quality care is provided;
  • Work with other entities to provide reciprocal mechanism of communication, information dissemination, follow-up, and referrals to organizations seeking 330 and non-330 funding opportunities.

3. Assessment of Needs/Sharing Data

  • Conduct an overall statewide primary care needs assessment that identifies the communities with the greatest unmet health care needs, disparities, and health workforce shortages and identifies the key barriers to access health care for these communities;
  • Building on existing analyses, collaborate with other entities by providing them with information to assist in their development of potential and the expansion of existing health centers in their state;
  • Facilitate entities’ ability in working with various divisions of the state health department to obtain data;
  • Educate leaders about unmet needs, the role of health centers and safety net providers as well as the needs of health centers;
  • Serve as the point of contact for access and use of relevant statewide and sub-county data to creating new and expanding health centers;
  • On an annual basis meet with other entities to review and update the annual statewide needs assessment.

4.  Workforce Development for the National Health Service Corps and Safety Net/Health Center Network

  • Ensure NHSC resources are appropriately utilized in the state;
  • Evaluate all NHSC Recruitment and Retention Application requests from entities in their State requesting assignment of Corps members;
  • Collaborate with other State agencies and State recruitment efforts to increase the number of health professionals serving in shortage areas in the State;
  • Coordinate the state’s J-1, Conrad 30 visa waiver program;
  • Engage in other activities that successfully recruit and retain clinical staff to work in safety net settings, with a particular emphasis on health center settings.

5.  Shortage Designation Applications and Updates

  • Coordinate and oversee the shortage designation process within the state to assure consistent and accurate assessment of underservice;
  • Provide technical assistance to organizations or communities about the necessary steps for the designation process;
  • Maintain, update, and apply for new MUA/P, and HPSA designations;
  • Help to ensure that designation renewals are done appropriately and be proactive about seeking designations for areas of the state or territory with need, including mental health and dental health issues;
  • Ensure necessary data and recommendations are provided for use in designation determinations.