The evaluation of the Workforce Network Development Program will gather information on the activities grantees are engaging in to establish programs to encourage health professions students and residents to practice in rural communities. Researchers from NORC and the University of Minnesota developed an evaluation framework that describes research questions and methods to monitor the grantees over the course of the three-year grant program. For the initial phase of the study the research team has conducted a literature review and developed profiles of the grantees. The team also administered a survey to nine of the grantees and is following up with those nine organizations for interviews.
Additionally, researchers have conducted two site visits to gain a more in-depth understanding of the ways the programs are being implemented, the challenges they have encountered, and the strategies being used to overcome those challenges. During those site visits, the team also conducted focus groups with students to learn about their motivations for training in rural areas and their plans for returning to such communities.
A final component of the evaluation will be the analysis of baseline PIMS data from Workforce grantees.
This project was conducted as part of the Rural Health Outreach Tracking and Evaluation Program