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Sebelius to MISSAPPROPRIATE $200 Million Recovery Act Funds

July 28, 2009

News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Contact: HRSA Press Office

(301) 443-3376

Secretary Sebelius Makes Recovery Act Funding Available to Expand Health
Professions Training

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced the availability of $200
million to support grants, loans, loan repayment, and scholarships to expand
the training of health care professionals.  The funds are expected to
train approximately 8,000 students and credentialed health professionals by the
end of fiscal year 2010.

Today’s funds are part of the $500 million allotted to HHS’ Health Resources
and Services Administration (HRSA), to address workforce shortages under the
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

“Health care reform cannot happen without an adequate supply of
well-trained, well-distributed providers,” said Secretary Sebelius.
“These ARRA funds provide targeted investments in primary care, nursing,
faculty development, and equipment purchases that will shore up the workforce
as we prepare for reform.”

“Our health professions programs have been significantly underfunded these
past few years,” said Mary Wakefield, Ph.D., R.N., administrator of the Health
Resources and Services Administration. “These funds will help us begin to
rebuild the infrastructure that is so essential to producing the number of
skilled health professionals the Nation needs.”

The $200 million will be directed to the following program areas:

  • $80.2 million for scholarships, loans, and loan repayment
    awards to students, health professionals, and faculty.  Of those
    funds, $39 million will be targeted to nurses and nurse faculty, $40
    million to disadvantaged students in a wide range of health professions,
    and $1.2 million to health professions faculty from disadvantaged
    backgrounds.
  • $50 million in grants to health professions training
    programs.  Funds will be used to purchase equipment needed to expand
    programs and improve the quality of training.
  • $47.6 million to support primary care training programs.
    These funds will support the training of residents, medical students,
    physician assistants, dentists and individuals, many of whom will practice
    in underserved areas.
  • $10.5 million to strengthen the public health
    workforce.  Funds will support public health traineeships and
    increase the number of individuals trained through preventive medicine and
    dental public health residencies.
  • $10.2 million to increase the diversity of the health
    professions workforce.
  • And $1.5 million to support the efforts of state
    professional licensing boards in reducing barrier to telemedicine.

HRSA is using a competitive process to award all funds. Some awards will be
made over the next several months. In addition, funding opportunities for some
programs will be announced over the next several months, giving applicants
adequate time to prepare materials.

The remaining $300 million in ARRA workforce funds is being used to expand HRSA’s
National Health Service Corps, which provides scholarships and loan repayment
for primary care providers who serve in health professional shortage
areas.  In addition, HRSA received $2 billion through ARRA to expand
health care services to low-income and uninsured individuals through its health
center program.

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