CAPE Symposium

Community Approaches to Physician Recruitment & Retention 
On April 14, 2016, the Capital Area Physician Experience (CAPE) committee of the Capital Area Health Alliance hosted a community-wide symposium, Community Approaches to Physician Recruitment and Retention.

The event opened with a discussion of the Healthy! Capital Counties project, a partnership between Tri-County hospital systems and health departments to conduct a community health needs assessment and develop an action plan to address the priority health needs identified in the assessment. Linda Vail, MPA, Chief Health Officer for Ingham County, shared information about the project, which completed and released its second community health needs assessment in 2015.
Guest Speaker Allison McCarthy, MBA, of Barlow/McCarthy Hospital-Physician Solutions described challenges and trends affecting recruitment and retention: an aging population of patients and physicians, expanded access, shifting payment systems, new care models emphasizing primary care and changing provider demographics and needs. Nearly 50% of a projected 91,500 physician shortage by 2020 is expected to occur in primary care. Ms. McCarthy suggested that organizations come together on strategies to bring people to the Capital Area, promoting what – beyond geography – differentiates the community from others in the state or country.
Possible strategies included working with the community to reach young people and expose them to health careers, creative efforts to link medical students and residents with opportunities can build interest and loyalty to the area, integrating new physicians’ families into the community, and developing ambassadors to potential recruits and new providers, utilizing the experience and loyalty of aging physicians who are transitioning out of practice.
A panel featuring recruiters, a Medicaid health plan representative, a community mental health medical director and a medical school dean discussed challenges and opportunities related to recruitment and retention in Michigan and the Greater Lansing area. Challenges exist in the lack of loan repayment eligibility in the area; the impact of growing mental health needs on access to psychiatric services, exacerbated by the shortage of faculty to support psychiatric residents; difficulties experienced by Medicaid managed care plans in developing sufficient specialty and primary care networks in rural areas; and the high cost of locums.
The symposium concluded with a discussion to identify ways in which members of the community can collaborate to have a collective impact on building and retaining a strong physician and primary care provider workforce. CAPE will use the ideas generated by the discussion in planning future efforts to collaboratively promote the Capital Area, integrate spouse and family needs into the recruitment and retention process, and use information gathered from new recruits and established practitioners to inform recruitment and retention practices. 

Healthy! Capital Counties Needs Assessment Findings by Linda Vail, Chief Health Officer, Ingham County Health Department. (Download Ms. Vail's presentation here.)

Presentation by Allison B. McCarthy, MBA, Principal, Barlow/McCarthy. (Download Ms. McCarthy's presentation here.)

Panel Discussion on challenges and opportunities in the Capital Area, with panelists:
  • Deborah Collier, Director, Provider Recruitment, McLaren Health Care
  • Barbara Hilborn, Manager, Provider Recruitment, Sparrow Medical Group and Sparrow Health System
  • Brenda R. Lever, Director, Provider Network Management, Blue Cross Complete
  • Jennifer Stanley, MD, Medical Director, Community Mental Health Authority of Clinton, Eaton and Ingham Counties 
  • William D. Strampel, DO, FACOI, Dean, MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine

Moderated by David Walsworth, MD, FAAFP, Associate Professor, MSU Department of Family Medicine; Associate Chair of Clinical Affairs and Medical Director, MSU Family Health Center; President, Ingham County Medical Society

Event Flyer


Event Agenda







Michigan Health Council
MSU HealthTeam