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Primary Care Office (PCO)

The North Dakota Primary Care Office's mission is to improve primary care service delivery and workforce availability. The PCO accomplishes these activities by facilitating the coordination of statewide activities that relate to the delivery of primary care services and the recruitment and retention of critical healthcare providers.

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 (NHSC) 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

Contact Information

Kalee Werner, MPH, Healthcare Workforce Coordinator
North Dakota Primary Care Office
600 E Boulevard Ave., Dept 301
Bismarck, ND 58505
(701) 805-1071

Stacy Kusler, Workforce Specialist
Center for Rural Health
(701) 777-3300


The North Dakota Department of Health & Human Services subcontracts with the Center for Rural Health to provide services for workforce development and shortage designation activities.