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Assistance Available for Health Professionals to Repay Loans

Jan. 31, 2008 – Eligible health care professionals can get up to $50,000 towards repayment of educational loans through the V.I. Department of Health's Primary Health Care Office. The local office oversees the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Loan Repayment program, which is an incentive offered under the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), a subsidiary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, for recruiting primary health care professionals in health professional shortage areas.
They can get up to $50,000 towards repayment of educational loans in exchange for a two-year service commitment through the loan repayment program. Eligible applicants may apply for a maximum of $25,000 a year, over the two-year period, according to a press release from DOH.
To be eligible, health care professionals cannot have liens resulting in federal debt, must be employed at a practice/agency that is a NHSC member or has applied to become a member, and must meet one of the following criteria:
§ Full physician (MD or DO) training/certification in family medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine, obstetrics/gynecology or psychiatry
§ Full training/certification as nurse-midwife, primary care nurse practitioner or physician assistant
§ Full training/certification as a dentist or dental hygienist
§ Full training/certification as a mental/behavioral health professional, i.e., health service psychologist, clinical social worker, licensed professional counselor, marriage/family therapist and psychiatric nurse specialist.
Applications should be received by or postmarked March 28. For details, contact the Primary Health Care Office at 715-1611 or 776-1204; or e-mail lorna.sutton@go.vi.gov or tanisha.mills@go.vi.gov .

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