The Oklahoma State Department of Health and its Office of Primary Care recently launched a loan repayment program aimed at healthcare professionals working in areas with shortages. This initiative is possible due to the funding they received from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The program, OK Health Corps, is set to offer up to $50,000 to clinicians specializing in primary care, mental health, and dental health on the condition that recipients commit to two years of service in community facilities certified under the National Health Services Corps.
The program offers priority to providers specializing in mental health and substance use disorders, but additional providers in different disciplines will also be considered depending on available resources. To be eligible for the program, applicants must ensure that their facility is located in a designated health professional shortage area and submit a site agreement. Psychiatrists may receive up to $50,000 while physician assistants, certified nurse midwives, registered nurses, pharmacists, and eligible mental health clinicians can receive up to $35,000. The amounts awarded will not exceed outstanding qualified educational loan balances.
To apply for the program, simply visit the department’s website. Jana Castleberry, Director of the Office of Primary Care believes that this program will help address the shortage of healthcare providers in areas of significant need within Oklahoma state and support the health workforce while ensuring increased access to healthcare for people across the state.