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Advocacy Brief: Secretary Sebelius Releases $33 Million in ARRA Funds to Train Health Professionals

On September 14 HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced awards totaling $33 million to expand the training of health care professionals. The 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).

The grants are distributed through six HRSA programs:

• Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students, $19.3 million. This program funds health professions schools and training programs which, in turn, provide scholarships to full-time health professions students, with priority given to those with financial need.
• Centers of Excellence, $4.9 million. This program funds health professions schools to establish or expand programs for minority individuals. Funds may be used to improve student academic performance, recruit and retain minority faculty, and expand opportunities to train at off-campus, community-based health care sites.
• Public Health Traineeships, $3 million. This program funds schools of public health to support traineeships that pay tuition, fees, and stipends for students in biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health, toxicology, nutrition, or maternal and child health.
• Nursing Workforce Diversity, $2.6 million. This program increases nursing education opportunities for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds through student scholarships or stipends, pre-entry preparation, and retention activities.
• Health Careers Opportunities, $2.5 million. This program funds schools and health professions training sites to establish or expand programs that help individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds enter and graduate from a health professions program.
• Dental Public Health Residency Training, $810,925. This program funds residency programs in dental public health, including financial aid to residents.

To date, HHS has announced the availability of nearly $200 million in ARRA workforce funds, of a total $300 million, to expand HRSA’s National Health Service Corps. The funds will pay for student loan repayments for primary care medical dental and mental health clinicians who wish to practice, for a minimum of two years, in NHSC sites that treat underserved and uninsured people.

More information can be found here.

Back to September 2009 Issue of IMpact

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