Workforce analysis has always been an integral part of the UK Center of Excellence in Rural Health. Initially, the types of healthcare professions to be supported were laid out by legislation. However, over the years it became apparent the needs of patients extend beyond office visits and routine healthcare. In 2001, legislation modified the expectations of the UK CERH regarding academic programs, introducing language that allows them to develop programs as needed rather than as specified in the initial legislation. This new legislation (KRS 164.937) stated the UK CERH was to “collect, analyze, interpret, disseminate, and make recommendations regarding the availability, distribution, and sufficiency of the health professions workforce” and “to provide educational opportunities for students committed to rural health care to obtain education in needed health professions as determined by the workforce analyses, rotating these programs as necessary.”
Graduate feedback has indicated that approximately 80% of UK CERH graduates were practicing in rural areas of Kentucky. Students are extremely grateful for the opportunities afforded them by the UK CERH academic programs and are quick to point out that obtaining a degree may not have been possible without the Center.