Presbyterian Medical Services (PMS) is one of the largest not-for-profit organizations in New Mexico, operating 38 Federally Qualified Health Centers, all of which are National Health Service Corps (NHSC) sites, and have taken full advantage of everything the NHSC Jobs Center has to offer. Presbyterian Medical Services was involved from the very beginning of the development of the NHSC Jobs Center, serving as a beta test site.
The NHSC Jobs Center “aids all of Presbyterian Medical Services’ provider recruitment efforts, not just those providers who are interested in the NHSC Loan Repayment Program,” says Dorothy Romo, Presbyterian Medical Services Recruitment Director.
When the Jobs Center debuted in May 2012, Presbyterian Medical Services quickly created their site profile. Within just a few months, they were able to recruit 13 new providers from just the Jobs Center alone, says Dorothy, who says this tool is “massive” for provider recruitment.
Presbyterian Medical Services is the successor to the United Presbyterian Church's Medical Mission work in the Southwest which began in 1901. In 1969, an independent Presbyterian Medical Services was formed as a New Mexico non-profit corporation to ensure continuation of the mission to provide health care services to the underserved communities throughout the Southwest. Presbyterian Medical Services’ greatest success is that they have been working collaboratively with communities, providers, hospitals, and local, state, and Federal government entities to develop programs which meet the needs of local residents -- many of whom are at or below the poverty level -- for over 40 years.
They provide comprehensive services, including primary care medical, dental, and mental and behavioral health care, children's services (Head Start, Early Head Start, Pre-K, Home Visiting, and Early Intervention Services), home care, hospice, and senior programs. Presbyterian Medical Services has approximately 1,100 employees working in almost 100 programs in 38 communities throughout New Mexico. Dorothy and her team see even greater things for Presbyterian Medical Services and would like them to be the preeminent organization of the Southwest serving the underserved.
Since the early 1990’s, Presbyterian Medical Services has recruited hundreds of NHSC providers through the Loan Repayment and Scholarship Programs. On a yearly basis, Presbyterian Medical Services recruits approximately 20 to 35 providers. While some providers who come to Presbyterian Medical Services health centers are interested in participating in the NHSC Loan Repayment Program, others seek job opportunities due to their sincere career interest in serving underserved populations. But, this is no coincidence. Dorothy and her team spend most of their days finding “providers of passion” to serve their communities. In fact, they talk about retention and discover a provider’s true intentions for serving the underserved during the very first encounter.
Dorothy engages candidates during a 45-minute interview and tries to carefully match their interests, career goals, and lifestyle to the appropriate positions at Presbyterian Medical Services’ sites. She is not afraid to turn providers away if she does not see “retention potential” in them. Presbyterian Medical Services does everything to aid retention, from conducting new hire orientation for its providers, conducting employee recognition programs, and mentoring new providers with senior clinical staff.
Dorothy is passionate for the work of her site. You often hear her refer to the relationship she has with the NHSC providers working at Presbyterian Medical Services’ community health centers as “joyful,” because she is so grateful for the providers who have made a commitment to work at Presbyterian Medical Services and remain there long after their NHSC service obligations end. Dorothy and her Presbyterian Medical Services team are very grateful for the NHSC Loan Repayment Program and its ability to help attract providers to their sites.