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Making a difference in underserved rural and urban communities
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A 2006 report says that 41% of Minnesota’s approximately 4.9 million residents live in rural Minnesota, but just 20.7% of Minnesota’s physicians practice there .

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Reaching Underserved Communities


Improving Access to Care in Underserved Urban and Rural Communities

Underserved communities are experiencing a shortage of primary care physicians

Physicians and their ability to care for our families play an essential role in maintaining good health and treating the sick in every community. Underserved communities are no different, but with too few physicians, too many people don’t get the ongoing care they need. Some wait to see a physician until their condition becomes unbearable – and much more expensive to treat – or worse.

Educational debt for graduating physicians is at historic highs

Unfortunately, physicians in primary care, which includes the lowest-paid of medical specialties, now face the prospect of spending most of their careers digging out from educational debt.

Physician loan forgiveness helps both the community and the physician

With loan forgiveness, the physician gets help paying down educational debt and the community gets a physician they can depend upon, someone who will be there, someone who will get to know them and their families. The physician makes a commitment to practice in the community for a minimum of 3 - 4 years. Once there, most physicians choose to stay much longer.

MMAF: a track record of collaboration, service and success

MMAF, in collaboration with the Minnesota Department of Health - Office of Rural Health and Primary Care, is improving access to care in underserved communities through Physician Loan Forgiveness programs. Today, two physicians are working in underserved rural communities with loan forgiveness support from MMAF. Other, past participants are still serving in their original practice locations and continuing the positive impact they make in their communities.

Initiative for Access – Urban Physician Loan Forgiveness is improving access to health care in underserved urban communities, too.

Initiative for Access, with the support of HealthPartners, UCare, the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation, Hennepin Health Foundation, the foundations of the Twin Cities Medical Society and others, is helping two primary care physicians address their educational debt in exchange for their three to four-year commitments to practice in underserved communities in the Twin Cities.

You can make it happen

With the support of individuals and community organizations, the MMAF is providing $100,000 to match $100,000 provided by the Minnesota Department of Health to fund two Urban Physician Loan Forgiveness contracts in the Twin Cities.

We still need your help! With just $16,300 to go to complete the $100,000 challenge, your gift today can make a real difference. Your gift will improve access to health care and make a positive impact on the health and the lives of our neighbors. Just click "Donate Now" at the top of this page.