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Ruth James, MD, MPH, understands the importance of ensuring everyone has access to health care. Dr. James is a board certified Family Medicine physician at Families First Health and Support Center, a federally qualified health center (FQHC) in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. She joined Families First’s team in October 2012, because she knew she wanted to use her medical expertise to help those who need it. 

Ruth James, family medicine physician in New Hampshire

“My goal was to work in an underserved area. Being near family brought me to the New Hampshire area, and Families First drew me in. I liked that they had so many patient resources and programs. I soon discovered it was a very interesting place and a fabulous facility,” said Dr. James. “For me, health and wellness are so important. Families First offers a comprehensive approach to health care, so it was a natural fit.”

Dr. James’ goal was to work in an underserved area. She connected with 3RNet, and was able to find her current job through 3RNet and the New Hampshire 3RNet member: The NH VT Recruitment Center, a Service of Bi-State Primary Care Association. The Recruitment Center provides services to clinicians interested in working in New Hampshire or Vermont – those looking for community or facility connections similar to what Dr. James was looking for.

“I ran across 3RNet when I was at a conference while I was looking for a job,” said James. “I saw that they had a mission aimed at helping providers like myself. I simply contacted 3RNet and was directed to the Recruitment Center with Bi-State Primary Care Association.  The Recruitment Center provided a list of New Hampshire opportunities. Families First just drew me in! Working with the Recruitment Center felt very personal, like I was working with someone who had my best interests at heart, not their own. When I started communicating with the Recruitment Center, it just felt right; it felt genuine.”

Providing care for an underserved population has been rewarding for Dr. James in many ways. “Interacting with patients is what I enjoy most about my job,” said Dr. James.

“It is so rewarding to work with people in great need of health care services. Being able to provide access to folks who may not otherwise have it, to me, feels valuable. People in this community are great,” said Dr. James. “I love the people I work with, and our opportunity to grow and further serve our surrounding communities is very high. It is a huge privilege to be a part of the work we do at Families First.” 

Families First provides primary care, prenatal care, dental care, and family services to clients in the Seacoast region of New Hampshire including Portsmouth, Hampton, Seabrook, and surrounding towns. In 2013, 60% of Families First patients lived below the federal poverty line, and 55% were uninsured. To learn more about Families First, visit www.familiesfirstseacoast.org.
Bi-State Primary Care Association, serving Vermont and New Hampshire, is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization that promotes access to effective and affordable primary care and preventive services for all, with special emphasis on underserved populations in New Hampshire and Vermont. The Recruitment Center is a service of Bi-State Primary Care Association, the region's only non-profit state-focused recruitment resource. We provide recruitment support and candidate referrals to practices in New Hampshire and Vermont that make primary health care available to rural and underserved populations. Learn more about the Recruitment Center by visiting www.bistatepca.org/recruitmen-center.

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