180012 Clinician retention in medically underserved areas

Wednesday, October 29, 2008: 9:10 AM

Kamahanahokulani Farrar, MHRM , Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program, Papa Ola Lokahi, Honolulu, HI

The Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program (NHHSP) of Papa Ola Lokahi is a service obligated scholarship that aims to decrease the health disparities of Native Hawaiians by providing educational, cultural and professional training. NHHSP awards scholarships in 16 primary care fields and offers academic counseling, job readiness skills and job placement. The impact of NHHSP in medically underserved areas (MUA) is a culturally-competent, Native Hawaiian workforce. The NHHSP program model incorporates Native Hawaiian values to support the suitability, satisfaction and retention of scholars.


In 2006, 104 scholars performing or completed their service obligation were surveyed. Fifty four (52%) surveys were returned and analyzed to determine what factors influence clinician retention.


Seventy-three percent of the scholars surveyed continued employment after completing their service obligation for an average of 2.8 years (post service). Scholars with higher self ratings of Native Hawaiian Values are significantly more likely to continue working in MUA. Scholars rated their work sites significantly higher in the following site characteristics: Native Hawaiian values and preparation to perform administrative duties. The data also suggests trends of higher retention rates for clinicians with childhood years or other experience in rural areas. There was a higher rate of attrition at the end of service among those raised in Urban and/or Suburban areas.


Clinicians are more likely to continue employment in positions when their work is aligned with values and leadership opportunities are available. Health Administrators who recruit staff best suited for the population to be served and respond to what staff identifies as important job characteristics may experience better retention within their workforce.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify two retention characteristics and two retention trends. 2. Learn about incorporating values into the workplace. 3. Learn about recruitment and selection of staff to increase clinician retention.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a Masters in Human Resource Management and over 20 years of experience. I have been employed with the Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program for 3 years and function as a team member focused on workforce development and capacity building in variety of community healthcare areas.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.