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HRSA dedicates $293 million to expanding workforce

October 19, 2018

By Jennifer Garvin

Washington — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration announced Oct. 18 that it is awarding $293 million to expand the primary health care workforce.

HRSA will administer the awards to primary health care clinicians — including dentists and dental students — through the National Health Service Corps and Nurse Corps programs, HHS said in a news release.

“These programs connect primary care providers with the rural, urban, and tribal communities across the country that need them most,” said George Sigounas, Ph.D., HRSA administrator. “In addition to providing essential medical and dental care, these clinicians are on the front lines helping to fight pressing public health issues, like the growing opioid epidemic.”

The HHS awards will support the following programs that include dentistry:

  • The National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program will receive $47.1 million to provide 222 new awards and seven continuation awards to students pursuing primary care training leading to a degree.
  • The National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program will receive $142.1 million to provide 3,262 new awards and 2,384 one-year continuation awards to fully trained, licensed primary care clinicians in exchange for providing primary health care services in an area of greatest need.
  • The National Health Service Corps Students to Service Loan Repayment Program, which provides loan repayment assistance to medical and dental students in their last year of school in return for them choosing primary care and committing to working in rural and urban areas in need. This program will receive $19.3 million to provide 162 new awards.
  • The Faculty Loan Repayment Program will receive $1.1 million to provide 23 new awards to health professions educators in exchange for serving as a faculty member in an accredited and eligible health professions school.
  • The Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program will receive $900,000 to provide nine new awards and one continuation award to Native Hawaiian health professions students trained in those disciplines and specialties most needed to deliver quality, culturally competent, primary health services to Native Hawaiians living in Hawaii.