Health Systems Development UnitThe Louisiana Department of Health Office of Public Health's Bureau of Primary Care and Rural Health (the Bureau) offers health systems development services to health care facilities, organizations and other providers across the State. These services are offered to communities within health professional shortage areas (HPSAs) for the purpose of expanding or sustaining access to primary and preventive health care services.

To create community support and ensure the success of health care development projects, the programs within the Health Systems Development (HSD) Unit provide:

  • Strategic planning;
  • Needs assessments;
  • Group facilitation; and
  • Resource development.

HSD administers the:

  • Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Grant (FLEX);
  • Small Rural Hospital Improvement Grant (SHIP);
  • State Office of Primary Care Grant;
  • State Loan Repayment Program Grant.
  • Oral Health Workforce Grant
  • State Office of Rural Health Grant;

This Unit also:

  • Researches and recommends areas to be designated as health professional shortage areas (HPSAs);
  • Verifies location and HPSA status for Rural Health Clinics (RHC) designations;
  • Reviews and supports eligibility for placement of J-1 Visa Waiver practitioners;
  • Assists the National Health Service Corps (NHSC); and
  • Offers extensive technical assistance for developing federally qualified health centers (FQHCs).

Budget Management:  

All Bureau grant expenditures are tracked on a monthly basis. The expenses are tracked based upon two criteria: 1) Grant budget year and 2) Annual fiscal State spending authority. For example, managers are required to limit spending to appropriate levels. By tracking and monitoring spending levels, the HSD assists managers in making maximum use of the available resources. OSU works with the LDH Office of Fiscal Management to ensure that all expenditures are properly categorized and credited to the appropriate grants. These expenditures include, but are not limited to: contractual expenditures, personnel, operations, and indirect costs.

Contract Preparation and Processing

HSD also handles the flow of contracts for the Bureau. This includes working with the contract monitor to guarantee that appropriate language is contained in the contract to ensure passage through the LDH Contract Review Committee and also to guarantee the terms of the contract will prove beneficial to both the contractor and the State of Louisiana. Prior to leaving the Bureau, all contracts are reviewed for completion, accuracy and receipt of authorized signatures. All contracts are tracked and monitored to guarantee that they are moving through the various stages of approval.  When problems arise, the information is communicated through the Unit to ensure a timely resolution.

Programs within the HSD Unit include:


For more information contact:

Kimberly B. Jones
HSD Unit Director

Bureau of Primary Care and Rural Health
Louisiana Department of Health Office of Public Health
Physical Address: 628 North 4th Street, 8th Floor, Baton Rouge, LA 70802
Mailing Address:   P.O. Box 3118, Baton Rouge, LA 70821-3118
Phone: (225) 342-0057
Fax:     (225) 342-5839