New HRSA Program Will Help Clinicians and Patients in the Fight Against Opioid Addiction

By George Sigounas MS, PhD, Administrator, Health Resources and Services Administration, HHS
Twitter: @HHSGov

On December 27, 2018 HRSA launched a program that is critical to HHS’ response to the opioid crisis. This National Health Service Corps Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Progam will support the HHS Five-Point Opioid Strategy by increasing patient access to high-quality substance use disorder preventive, treatment, and recovery services.

The program will provide eligible health care clinicians with student loan repayment assistance in exchange for their service on the front lines of the opioid crisis in underserved communities. As a result, more patients who need help with substance use treatment will have access to highly qualified clinicians.

As HRSA Administrator, I have worked closely with Secretary Azar to combat the opioid public health emergency, which claims more than 130 lives every day. By strengthening the health workforce, HRSA is working to ensure that there are enough qualified health care clinicians to treat patients living with substance use disorder.

Without these clinicians, many patients might never have access to the resources they need to help them recover. Clinicians accepted to the program may receive up to $75,000 for three years of full-time service at a health care facility that has been designated by HRSA as an NHSC-approved substance use disorder site. A part-time service option, with a maximum award of $37,500, is also available.

The current opioid crisis is daunting, but the new NHSC loan repayment program will help us make strides in this public health challenge. I am grateful to the clinicians who will apply and are looking to make a positive impact on patients, caregivers, and hard-hit communities throughout the country.

Learn more about the NHSC Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Program and how to apply on our website.

Learn More about Other NHSC Programs
For more than 40 years, the NHSC (@NHSCorps) has provided scholarships and loan repayment to help communities recruit and retain quality primary care clinicians. The NHSC’s Loan Repayment Program for primary care, dental, and behavioral health professionals is also currently accepting applications. Clinicians may only apply for one of the two loan repayment programs. Use the HRSA infographic (hyperlink once available) to see key program differences.

This article was originally published on the HHS blog and is republished here with permission.