The California Primary Care Office (PCO)
The California Primary Care Office (PCO) is a Cooperative Agreement between the Federal government and the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development.
The core functions include:
- Organizational Effectiveness/Foster Collaboration with stakeholders;
- Technical Assistance to Organizations/Communities wishing to Expand Access to Primary Care for Underserved Populations;
- Assessment of Needs/Sharing Data;
- Workforce Development for the NHSC and Safety Net/Health Center Network;
- Shortage Designation Applications and Updates.
The California Primary Care Office is funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the Bureau of Health Workforce (BHW). The purpose of this funding is to improve primary care service delivery and workforce availability in the State or territory to meet the needs of underserved populations by supporting the coordination of local, State, territorial, and Federal resources that contribute to improving the healthcare needs of underserved populations.
The PCO provides data analysis services and liaisons between the federal government and healthcare provider sites applying for HPSA or MUA/MUP status. Shortage designations enable clinics to be eligible for assignment of National Health Services Corp Personnel or apply for Rural Health Clinic Certification, Federally Qualified Health Center status (FQHC), FQHC Look-Alike, or New Start/Expansion program, depending on the designation.
We are State's liaison to the federal Shortage Designation Branch (SDB) of Health Resources and Services Administration. The program was authorized by Congress as the Emergency Health Personnel Act of 1970 under the U.S. Public Health Service Act. The federal government provides funding for the program.
This program is authorized under the Public Health Service Act as amended, Title 3, Sections 330 and 333, which provides for
- Assistance to Statewide organizations in the development and delivery of comprehensive primary health care service in areas that lack adequate numbers of health professionals or have populations lacking access to primary care; and
- Technical and non-financial assistance to community-based providers of comprehensive primary and preventive care for underserved and vulnerable populations.
The California PCO consists of the program:
The Shortage Designation Program (SDP)
provides technical assistance to clinics and healthcare providers seeking recognition as a federally designated Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) for Primary Care, Dental Health, and Mental Health disciplines or Medically Underserved Area/Medically Underserved Population (MUA/MUP). SDP also provides technical assistance to clinics and healthcare providers seeking approval of National Health Service Corps (NHSC) site certifications.
Find Shortage Area by Address
NHSC Application Cycle
|Program||Cycle Dates||More Information||Application|
|NHSC Loan Repayment||
Opens March 02 to
April 23, 2018
Closes at 7:30pm est
|NHSC Site Application||
May 01, 2018 to
June 26, 2018
NHSC site information
Become an NHSC Site
|NURSE Corps Loan Repayment||Opens January 2019||Closed|
|NURSE Corps Scholarship||Opens Spring 2018||Closed|
The PCO provides technical assistance to clinics and other primary care providers seeking recognition as a federally designated Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) or Medically Underserved Area/Medically Underserved Population (MUA/MUP).
Technical Assistance Workshop Presentations
Here are the most updated PowerPoint presentations from our technical assistance workshops to help guide you through the application process:
Templates for provider surveys and facility HPSA designations.
- Census Tract Locator (FFIEC Geocoding System)
Type in the street address, city, state, and zip code, then hit the "Search" button. Write down the number in the "Tract Code" box; this is your census tract number.
- Searchable Federal Designation Listings
Both listings are part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
- Designation (HPSA or MUA/P) needed to qualify for selected federal program assistance.
Maps, GIS and Data
HWDD reviews California's counties Medical Service Study Areas (MSSAs) to assess population density, provider-to-population ratios, poverty levels, and public health indicators for eligibility to receive federal assistance for health care through federally designated Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA). The federally designated Medical Service Study Areas (MSSAs) are utilized by HWDD programs to determine funding through analysis of sites in underserved areas.
GIS Shapefile Zipped
GIS Shapefile Zipped – (Census Tracts)
Excel – MSSA
Excel – Census Tracts
|2000||GIS Shapefile Zipped||PDF Map||Excel - Census Tracts|
|Rural, Urban and Frontier Definition||GIS Shapefile||PDF Map|
|MSSA Data Dictionary||Excel|
|MSSA to Zip Code Crosswalk||Excel|
|Primary Care Designation||GIS Shapefile Zipped||PDF Map|
|Mental Health Designation||GIS Shapefile Zipped||PDF Map|
|Dental Designation||GIS Shapefile Zipped||PDF Map|
|Designation||GIS Shapefile Zipped - MUA
GIS Shapefile Zipped - MUP
|Rural Clinics||GIS Shapefile Zipped|
|Healthcare Facilities||GIS Shapefile Zipped|
|Zip Code||GIS Shapefile Zipped – Zip Code
GIS Shapefile Zipped – ZCTA
This page was last updated on Friday, April 20, 2018.
This page was last updated on Friday, April 20, 2018.
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- Direct Contacts
Hovik Khosrovian, Manager
Richard Creer, Program Analyst
Bally Nagra, Program Analyst
Steffi Wong, Program Analyst
Elyssa Urias, Program Analyst