Eighteen months out of medical school and working as a Del Norte County pediatrician, Dr. Hannah Parker was paying off student loans and bills for additional training when she received a much-needed financial boost — $50,000 from HAF+WRCF’s “Del Norte Physicians Recruitment and Retention Fund.”
Parker applied for the grant through Open Door Community Health Center, which received the HAF+WRCF grant earlier this year and passed it on to Parker.
“The money went a long way in helping me alleviate the stress that came with all that debt,” said Parker, who works at Open Door’s Crescent City clinic. “Medical training is very expensive, and the cost of living continues to rise, especially here in California.”
To assist physicians such as Parker, HAF+WRCF continues to seek grant applications from local medical organizations for its Del Norte Physician’s Recruitment and Retention Fund. The purpose of the fund, established in 2007 by community-minded businesses, organizations, and individuals, is to support medical loan repayment, professional development, and retention of local medical professionals.
“The funding opportunity is an exciting way to support recruitment and retention efforts for physicians in Del Norte County and support a healthy, just and equitable region where families can thrive,” said Craig Woods, HAF+WRCF’s Department Director for Programs and Community Solutions. “It’s an honor to carry out the charitable vision of the generous donors who established the fund in 2007.”
Parker said that being able to pay off some debt played a part in her remaining in Del Norte County.
“I could probably get a job in a bigger city that pays a lot more, but I really like living in a rural area, and we’re close to family here,” she said. “Since deciding to pursue a career in medicine, my ultimate goal has been to practice in an underserved area. Additionally, my husband and I always wanted to settle in the Pacific Northwest. So, when we visited Crescent City, we knew it would be a good fit for us.”
As for her immediate future, Parker said, “I would like to continue to build on my current advocacy work and continue to partner with other community members to enhance our available health care resources locally.”
About the grant:
Recipients of the Del Norte Physician’s Recruitment and Retention Fund must commit to working in Del Norte County for the year the funding is received. This fund will award up to $50,000 per recipient per year, for a maximum of two years. Health care organizations can learn more about the fund and access the application at hafoundation.org/apply.