LEXINGTON, Ky. (KT) - In an effort to attract more health care professionals to parts of the state, the Kentucky State Loan Repayment Program is now accepting applications from health care providers seeking assistance with paying off their student loan debt.
The KSLRP is a loan repayment assistance program that helps to recruit and retain health care providers in rural and underserved communities across the state. Those chosen to participate in the competitive program agree to work full-time for two years providing primary care services at an eligible practice site located in a Health Professional Shortage Area.
Participants receive tax-free student loan repayment awards, ranging from $10,000 to $40,000 a year, in exchange for their service commitment.
Eligible fields include physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives, registered nurses, dentists, registered dental hygienists, licensed clinical social workers, licensed professional clinical counselors, health service psychologists, marriage and family therapists, psychiatric nurse specialists, alcohol and substance abuse counselors and pharmacists.
Locations for service include federally qualified health centers, rural health clinics, community mental health facilities, state and county health department clinics, free clinics, critical access hospitals affiliated with a qualified outpatient clinic, correctional or detention facilities and private practices. Practice sites must be public or nonprofit private entities.
The KSLRP is a 50/50 match program: For every federal dollar provided by the KSLRP, participants must have an equal match from a sponsor source. Sponsors can include employers at the practice site; private foundations, corporations, community organizations, and/or philanthropies; and, rurally-oriented organizations requesting their funds be used to support the placement of practitioners in rural areas.
The deadline to apply is Oct. 1, and participants’ service commitment begins in January 2020. The program also allows past participants to apply for one-year extension contracts.
Program guidelines and all application materials can be found online at: www.kyruralhealth.org/KSLRP.
The Kentucky Office of Rural Health serves as the administrator for the KSLRP, which is funded through the National Health Service Corps, a federal program administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Bureau of Health Workforce. The University of Kentucky Center of Excellence in Rural Health serves as Kentucky’s federally-designated administrator.