About the Community Practitioner Program (CPP)

The North Carolina Medical Society Foundation has been placing physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners in underserved areas throughout North Carolina to improve access to care for all citizens of our state. In exchange for their commitment to serve in these communities, Community Practitioner Program (CPP) participants receive funds to help offset their outstanding medical education loans as well as practice management assistance and continuing medical education to help ensure their professional success.

History of the Program

Over thirty years ago, a group of entrepreneurial and forward-thinking leaders came together to plan new ways to increase the recruitment and retention of primary care providers in rural North Carolina. In 1989, the vision, wisdom and passion of two leaders, Dr. Harvey Estes and Jim Bernstein, and the contributions of key state organizations, paved the way for the birth of the Community Practitioner Program. The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust provided the generous financial support of $4.5 million to make the program a reality, helping medically underserved communities across North Carolina attract and retain needed medical practitioners. In 2005, The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) Foundation provided additional support to the Community Practitioner Program through a five-year $10M grant. While the program receives no state or federal funds, the Foundation does receive donations from physicians and other healthcare providers to do this work along with other partners.

Community Practitioner Program Impact

In its 32 years, the Community Practitioner Program (CPP) has place…

515

physicians, PAs and NPs from

130

different professional schools at

242

unique practice locations in NC in

88/100

North Carolina counties

CPP participants have provided an average value of…

$16Million

in free or reduced-rate care annually

$671Million

total in free or reduced-rate care in 32 years

Meet Some CPP Participants:

Katie Lowry, MD

Christian Lige, MD

Mary Beth Koehler, PNP-BC