Adoption of the Community APGAR tool in rural Victoria

Project Details

Rural communities across the Australia continue to experience significant challenges recruiting and retaining health workforce personnel such as doctors, nurses and allied health staff due to many and varying factors. These rural and remote regions have a rapidly aging workforce with populations experiencing low levels of health access, high levels of General Practitioner maldistribution, and widespread health disadvantage.

A range of factors impact recruitment and retention of health workforce personnel, including geography, financial issues, scope of practice in rural areas, medical supports, and hospital and community supports. These factors include many professional and social barriers leading to poor satisfaction being experienced by new health workforce personnel relocating to rural settings. The project aims to help understand what community characteristics predict the success or challenges with regard to recruitment and retention of a qualified health workforce in health facilities, in rural Victoria. To achieve this, the project will test a tool developed for the U.S. context, called the Community APGAR tool. Separate tools for medical, nursing and allied health professionals will be tested in rural areas of northern Victoria to ascertain if they can assist health services to understand recruitment and retention of staff at their local health service.


Dr. Daniel Terry, Research Fellow


Professor Ed Baker, Director, Center for Health Policy, Boise State University, USA

Dr David Schmitz, Chief Rural Officer, Program Director Rural Traning Tracks, Family Medicine Residency of Idaho, USA

Molly Prengaman, Associate Professor, School of Nursing, Boise State University, USA


This research has been supported by the Australian Government Department of Health through the  Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training Programme.

Research Outcomes

Terry, D.R., Baker, E., & Schmitz, D. (2016). Assessing Critical Access Hospital Assets and Capabilities for Recruiting and Retaining General practitioners: The Australia pilot Community Apgar Program. Shepparton, The University of Melbourne.

Research Group

Rural Health Workforce

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Rural Health

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