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The Department of Health and Human Services is hoping a $107.2 million-dollar award will help to expand care in rural and underserved communities. The special funds will go out to 310 recipients in 45 states and US territories in an attempt to increase financial and professional support for physicians, faculty, dentists, nurses, and students working in high-need areas.

According to HHS Secretary Alex Azar, “Supporting a strong health workforce is essential to improving health in rural and underserved communities. We’ve seen stark disparities in health and healthcare access contribute to the burden of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Four nursing education programs will benefit from this award:

  • The Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP), which provides funds to accredited nursing schools for loans to students in advanced education degree programs who are committed to become nurse faculty.
  • Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students (SDS), which supports school scholarships for students from disadvantaged backgrounds who are enrolled in a health profession program or nursing program.
  • The Nurse Anesthetist Traineeship (NAT) Program, designed to increase the number of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs), especially those providing care to rural and underserved populations.
  • The Nurse Education, Practice, Quality and Retention (NEPQR) Interprofessional Collaborative Practice Program (IPCP): Behavioral Health Integration (BHI), which directs funds to develop behavioral health services in nurse-led primary care teams in rural or underserved areas.

For full details, visit the HHS announcement.

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Koren Thomas
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