, The 2020 Primary Care Needs Assessment of Arkansas is the Office of Rural Health and Primary Care’s (ORHPC) contribution to the identification and understanding of the most pressing barriers associated with primary care across the state. Arkansas is predominately rural which creates a unique set of challenges regarding primary care. 

The needs assessment methodology included both quantitative and qualitative data. The quantitative data highlights the healthcare needs according to the most recent data, as well as the economic, social and infrastructure challenges, while the qualitative data puts the perceived needs of key stakeholders into perspective. The Arkansas Department of Health provided primary data to conduct the needs assessment. Primary data sources include healthcare shortage, recruitment and retention, and health licensing data. The University of Arkansas, Division of Agriculture Research and Extension and the PCO performed secondary data analysis. Secondary data sources included the United States Census Bureau, County Health Rankings, the Commonwealth Fund 2020 Scorecard, and data from the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration. The Rural Health Association of Arkansas (RHAA) and the PCO supplied qualitative data collected from stakeholders during meetings and workgroup sessions. 

Although the Arkansas Primary Care Needs Assessment (ARPCNA) focuses on understanding key barriers to obtaining optimal health for Arkansans it is not all encompassing of the challenges that exist as identified by stakeholders. This needs assessment will identify the communities with the greatest unmet health care needs. It will also highlight the critical needs within the four priority areas as identified by the Rural Health Workgroup: access to care, workforce development, social determinants of health, and mental health services.

Click here to download and view the full assessment.

A special thank you to the authors and contributors.


Quinyatta P. Mumford, Director
Office of Rural Health and Primary Care, Arkansas Department of Health 

Wayne Miller, Professor 
University of Arkansas, System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service and Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness 

Ellie Wheeler, Program Associate 
University of Arkansas System, Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service 

Payton Christenberry
Rural Health Association of Arkansas 

Robin Howell, Secretary
Rural Health Association of Arkansas

Naomi Sweeney, Former Coordinator
Office of Rural Health and Primary Care, Arkansas Department of Health

Renisha Jones, Intern
Office of Rural Health and Primary Care, Arkansas Department of Health

Student Contributors

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) College of Medicine
Erica Dewey 

Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine (ARCOM)
David Z. Lindow
Summer Morrison
Connor Fuhrmann

New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) College of Osteopathic Medicine
Ashlyn Fisher
Logan Meurer