The Primary Care Office Program is federally funded and administered by Iowa HHS. The goal of the program is to enhance access to healthcare and mitigate unmet healthcare needs, primarily for rural and underserved populations. Among other activities, the Primary Care Program supports several tools including the Iowa Rural Healthcare Workforce Connection website, and the 3RNET job board, and Health Professional Shortage Areas. 

Iowa Rural Healthcare Workforce Connection

This website houses helpful information and resources devoted to healthcare workforce recruitment and retention in rural and underserved areas of Iowa. Students and professionals can find a list of loan repayment and scholarship programs available in Iowa. Announcements, tools, and publications are also available and updated regularly.  


3RNET is a job board hosted by the Primary Care Office and is a free resource for healthcare organizations to recruit providers in rural and underserved areas. Healthcare professionals can search for jobs across the nation and facilities can also post jobs. The system generates job referrals between candidates and employers based on preferences and qualifications. Each job posting also indicates if the opportunity is eligible for grants or programs such as the J-1 visa waiver program or loan repayment programs. Additionally, each job opportunity will indicate a HPSA score, as applicable.

Shortage Designations

Shortage designations are areas, populations, or facilities experiencing a shortage of healthcare services. Designation statuses are reviewed by Iowa HHS and the Health Resources and Services Administration following a regular update cycle and may be updated more frequently if significant provider changes occur. 

There are several types of shortage designations:

  • Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs)
  • Maternity Care Target Areas (MCTAs)
  • Medically Underserved Areas (MUAs) and Medically Underserved Populations (MUPs)
  • Exceptional Medically Underserved Population (Exceptional MUP)
  • Governor’s-Designated Secretary-Certified Shortage Areas for Rural Health Clinics

To look up  HPSA, MUA, or MUP designations, please visit the HPSA Find website.

For more information, contact:

The State Office of Rural Health (SORH) Program is federally funded and administered by Iowa HHS. . This program empowers rural communities and organizations by identifying and resolving critical healthcare challenges and strengthening rural health infrastructure. Key functions of the program include:

  • Provides rural health advocacy and outreach
  • Coordinates efforts for rural health activities to reduce duplication
  • Collects and disseminates data and information on resources for rural communities
  • Provides consultation to rural Iowa communities and healthcare providers regarding Federal, State, and rural health program participation

For more information, contact: