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HHS Announces Availability of $100 Million for State Loan Repayment Programs to Support Primary Health Care Workforce in Underserved Communities

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is announcing the availability of $100 million in American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding for state-run programs that support, recruit, and retain primary care clinicians who live and work in underserved communities. This funding represents a five-fold increase to the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP), and helps improve health equity by ensuring that clinicians working in high-need communities remain in them.

HRSA’s Bureau of Health Workforce is accepting applications for these grants from all 50 states, Washington D.C., and U.S. territories. HRSA estimates that it will make up to 50 awards of up to $1 million per year, over the program’s four-year project period.

“Our health care workers have worked tirelessly to save lives throughout this pandemic and now it’s our turn to invest in them,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “This investment is critical to ensuring state public health officials can continue supporting specific needs across their communities. The Biden-Harris Administration will continue to invest in building a strong health workforce as we build our country back healthier.” 

The ARP funds include two key new flexibilities to make it easier for states to operate these programs: 

  • No Cost-sharing Requirement: States will not be required to demonstrate a specific matching amount for the federal funding, though HRSA continues to encourage states to secure some level of funding match through public or private entities. 
  • Administrative Costs: States can use up to 10 percent of their award for administrative costs in order to ensure they have the capacity to administer these programs, especially those new to the grant program.

“With these funds, states can design programs that optimize the selection of disciplines and service locations, and tailor the length of service commitments to address the areas of greatest need in their communities,” said Acting HRSA Administrator Diana Espinosa. “This investment will make a tremendous impact on access to primary care and addressing health disparities at a critical time.”

The disciplines, practice sites, length of required service commitment and the award amount for each state’s loan repayment program vary by state/territory. 

Applicants can begin the application process on Grants.gov and apply by Friday, April 8, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. ET.  Notices of Awards will be announced prior to the project start date of September 1, 2022.

Visit HRSA’s State Loan Repayment Program webpage for more information.

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Author: HHS Press Office

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