The Community Apgar Project (CAP) is a research-validated
questionnaire used to assist rural hospitals in North
Dakota identify strengths and challenges related to
recruiting and retaining various types of health
workforce. Originally, the CAP process and methodology
was utilized in North Dakota to look at what makes a
community healthcare facility attractive to family
medicine physicians. In recent years, the project
evaluated what makes a community healthcare facility a
good educational campus for health professions education
through a tool called the Health Professions Education in
Rural Communities (HPERC). Currently, the CAP project is
evaluating CEO recruitment and retention factors in rural
Critical Access Hospitals. The CEO Apgar is expected to
be completed by summer of 2025.
The Community Apgar Project:
Is a train-the-trainer program which uses a validated
research tool to gather data.
Allows Critical Access Hospitals to identify and
prioritize factors important to recruiting and retaining
various types of workforce, specific to their hospitals.
Provides data which can guide strategic planning and
recruitment and retention efforts for Critical Access
Uses HPERC tool to provide data which can determine
readiness for becoming an educational campus for health
professions students (2019).
Studies factors related to recruiting and retaining CEOs to Critical Access Hospitals (2023-2025).
CAP was developed by the Family Medicine
Residency of Idaho (now called Full Circle Health)
and Boise State
University. The Center for Rural Health partners with
Boise State University to bring this project to North
Dakota. The HPERC is being developed by the University of
North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences
Department of Family & Community Medicine, the North
Dakota Center for Rural Health, and the North Dakota Area
Health Education Center.