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Shortage Designations and Maps

Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs)

The federal Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) designation identifies an area or population as having a shortage of dental, mental, and primary health care providers. HPSA designation are used to qualify for state and federal programs aimed at increasing primary care services to underserved areas and populations.

A HPSA designation is based on three criteria, established by federal regulation:

  • The area must be rational for delivery of health services.
  • A specified population-to-provider ratio representing shortage must be exceeded within the area as evidenced by more than 3,500 persons per physician (or 3,000 persons per physician if the area has "high needs").
  • Health care resources in surrounding areas must be unavailable because of distance,over utilization or access barriers.

Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) have shortages of primary medical care, dental or mental health providers and may be geographic (a county or service area), demographic (low income population) or institutional (comprehensive health center, federally qualified health center or other public facility). To find information on Health Professional Shortage Areas in Virginia, please visit the following website: Enter the street address, city, state and zip code you wish to inquire about and click submit. Please be sure to use the "Find Shortage Area" button on the left hand side only.  Federally Designated Medically Underserved Areas (MUAs) or Populations (MUPs) and shortage areas designated by the State DO NOT qualify.

Programs Using HPSA Designations Include:

  • Area Health Education Center Programs
  • Conrad 30 J-1 Visa Waiver Program
  • Cooperative Agreements to Improve the Health Status of Minority Populations
  • Disadvantaged Health Professional Faculty LR and Fellowship Program
  • Emergency Medical Services for Children
  • Faculty Development in Family Medicine
  • Faculty Development in General Internal Medicine and/or General Practice
  • Faculty Training Projects in Geriatric Medicine and Dentistry
  • Health Administration Traineeships and Special Projects
  • Health Education and Training Programs
  • Health Physician Assistant Training Program
  • Interdisciplinary Training for Health Care in Rural Areas
  • National Health Service Corps
  • National Interest Waiver
  • Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Midwifery Education Program
  • Nurse Training Improvement: Special Projects
  • Medicare Incentive Payments | Virginia Payments
  • Mental Health Clinical and AIDS Service-Related Training Grants
  • Nurse Anesthetist Traineeship
  • Podiatric Primary Care Residency Program
  • Pre-Doctoral Training in Family Medicine
  • Preventive Medicine and Dental Public
  • Professional Nurse Traineeship
  • Programs of Excellence in Health Professions Education for Minorities
  • Residency and Graduate Training in Family Medicine
  • Residency Training in General Internal Medicine and/or Family Medicine
  • Residency Training and Advanced Education in General Practice of Dentistry
  • Rural Health Clinic Act
  • Special Project Grants to Schools of Public Health
  • Virginia State Loan Repayment Program

Medically Underserved Areas and Populations (MUAs/MUPs)

Medically Underserved Areas and Medically Underserved Populations have shortages of primary medical care providers and may be geographic (a county or service area) or demographic (low income, Medicaid-eligible populations, cultural and/or linguistic access barriers to primary medical care services)

They are each assigned an Index of Medical Underservice (IMU) score, which is used to determine the eligibility of an area or population for MUA/MUP status.

Federal Programs Available to MUA/MUP:

Federal MUA/P Designations in Virginia

To find HPSAs in Virginia, click on the link below, select “Virginia” as the State and then follow the instructions found on the web page. HRSA HPSA by State & County

Virginia Medically Underserved Areas

Virginia Medically Underserved Areas (VMUA)



Mental Health Professional Shortage Areas (MHPSA)

Map pdf

Primary Care Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA)

Map pdf

Dental Health Professional Shortage Areas (DHPSA)

Map pdf

Click here to search for HPSAs by state and county


For more information about Virginia designations, contact Rexford Anson-Dwamena, GIS/Designations Specialist, Rexford Anson-Dwamena.

Last Updated: 02-25-2016

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