Primary Care Office

The mission of the North Dakota Primary Care Office (PCO), is to improve primary care service delivery and workforce availability. These activities are accomplished by facilitating the coordination of activities within the State that relate to the delivery of primary care services and the recruitment and retention of critical health care providers. The North Dakota Department of Health subcontracts with the University of North Dakota Center for Rural Health to provide services for workforce development and shortage designation activities. 

Core Functions:

  • Provide technical assistance to organizations and communities in their efforts to expand access to primary care for underserved populations (community health centers, additional certified rural health clinics, etc.).
  • Shortage area designation analysis.
  • Assure consistent and accurate assessments of under service in primary care, oral health, and mental health.
  • Provide technical assistance to organizations and/or communities related to the designation process.
  • Address workforce recruitment and retention.
  • Workforce development for the National Health Service Corps and Safety Net/Health Center Network.
  • Assist communities/organizations and providers in their applications for NHSC recruitment assistance.
  • Develop activities to recruit and retain clinical staff to work in safety-net settings.
  • Provide recruitment/retention workshops encompassing all aspects of the process.
  • Conduct demand surveys to assess the vacancy rates.
  • Work with residency programs to promote working in North Dakota's underserved areas.
  • Provide assistance in the implementation of the State/Community Matching Loan Program and the State/Federal Loan Program.

For Program information contact:

Kalee Werner
North Dakota Primary Care Office
600 E Boulevard Ave., Dept 301
Bismarck, ND 58505
office: 701-805-1071

Stacy Kusler, Workforce Specialist
Center for Rural Health
University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences
1301 North Columbia Road, Stop 9037 / Suite E231 Office E240
Grand Forks, ND 58202-9037
Direct Line (701)777-3300
CRH Office: 701-777-3848
Fax: 701-777-6779 or or or

Sonja Bauman, MS, Research Specialist
Shortage Designation Analyst
University of North Dakota


Helpful Links:

The National Rural Recruitment and Retention Network (3RNet) consists of state organizations created to assist health professionals locate suitable practices in rural areas throughout the country.