Awarded by the US Department of Health and Human Services, the funding will enhance efforts to recruit health providers to serve in rural and underserved areas through ADHS’ State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP).
According to the press release from ADHS, the new funding will facilitate improved access to care in communities that have limited or no access through the recruitment and retention of providers in those areas. The funding will support more providers with larger awards in order to make the state loan repayment program competitive with other loan repayment programs. The federal funding increases the total SLRP funding annually to $2 million.
Through SLRP, Arizona offers repayment programs geared towards healthcare students who work in areas of shortage, allowing many students to qualify for thousands in student loan repayments.
Factors that will determine the amount granted are based on the following criteria:
- Provider type
- Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) score Full-time or Half-time
- Contract year of service
- Availability of funds
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed Senate Bill 1194 in February of 2015, enhancing the Arizona SLRP by expanding the types of providers that can receive loan repayment assistance, increasing the award amounts for the initial and succeeding commitment years, and removing the four-year service cap.
This bill was followed with an increased appropriation approved by the Arizona Legislature in 2017, growing the state dollars available for the program from $650,000 to $1 million and making Arizona eligible for the full $1 million federal match. Arizona’s successful application for the full match was awarded in May of 2018.
Governor Ducey said of the award,
Arizona has seen tangible benefits from increased investments in the State Loan Repayment Program since 2015. Now, with the addition of $1 million in available funds, Arizona will be able to further its commitment to better serve rural and underserved communities by increasing in the number of health care providers available in critical areas across the state.
Since the passage of SB 1194 in 2015, the SLRP has seen a 300% increase in applications. The additional funding was critical to address the growing number of applications and provide more awards to health care providers. The ADHS State Loan Repayment Program is working to finalize and notify successful applicants for the 2018 application cycle with contracts starting October 1, 2018.
Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services said,
We have made steady progress on increasing the numbers and types of applicants to the Student Loan Repayment Program. The additional funding will help us provide more awards to address critical needs in our underserved areas caused by health care provider shortages.
To learn more about the SLRP, please visit azhealth.gov and search SLRP, or contact Ana Roscetti at firstname.lastname@example.org or 602-542-1066.
Click here to read the press release from ADHS