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.

If you have questions about the program and want to learn more, please contact the NCMS Foundation, [email protected].

CPP 2.0 will combat workforce shortages that limit healthcare in rural and marginalized communities.

The North Carolina Medical Society Foundation is building on more than three decades of success to help even more North Carolinians.  Thanks to a grant from BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina Foundation, the Community Practitioner Program is launching CPP 2.0!

The new program will prioritize several areas not previously supported by the CPP Legacy program.

​CPP 2.0 will provide:

  • Educational loan repayment to behavioral health, maternal and women’s health clinicians.
  • Identify opportunities to support retention of clinicians who get educational loan repayment incentives, particularly those receiving NCORH incentive programs.
  • It will increase the number of African American/Black, American Indian, Latinx/Hispanic, and LGBTQ+ who apply for the program.
  • Develop a workforce pathway into rural and underserved clinical settings by supporting rural preceptors and practice innovation.

CPP 2.0 will also work to alter the current rapidly declining trajectory of NC’s rural healthcare workforce so that ​it is transformed in a single generation.  That includes equitable access, a workforce that mirrors the community it serves, and opportunities for marginalized people who are currently underrepresented.

Community Practitioner Program Impact

In its 34 years, the Community Practitioner Program (CPP) has placed…


physicians, PAs and NPs from


different professional schools at


unique practice locations in NC in


North Carolina counties

CPP participants over the life of the program have provided an average value of…


in free or reduced-rate care annually


total in free or reduced-rate care in 34 years

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.

Meet Some CPP Participants:

Katie Lowry, MD

Christian Lige, MD

Mary Beth Koehler, PNP-BC