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June 10, 1974

New Directions for the National Health Service Corps

Author Affiliations

Rockville, Md

JAMA. 1974;228(11):1422-1423. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230360052028

On Dec 31, 1970, President Nixon signed into law the Emergency Health Personnel Act, which created the National Health Service Corps (NHSC). The intent of the legislation is to improve the delivery of health services to persons living in those communities of the United States where health personnel, facilities, or services are inadequate. The goal of the NHSC is to recruit and place appropriate health professionals in these areas and to assist the communities in developing ongoing, self-sufficient health care delivery systems.

The program is administered in the Bureau of Community Health Services of the Health Service Administration, one of six Public Health Service agencies in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Since its inception, the program has been run primarily as a demonstration project with a current budget of approximately $13.4 million. Despite this modest investment, the NHSC has had a powerful impact in those communities designated as