PAEA and HRSA Host Webinar on National Health Service Corps Opportunities
On October 18, the Government Relations team hosted a webinar in collaboration with the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) focused on funding opportunities available to PA students and graduates via the National Health Service Corps (NHSC). During this hour-long session, HRSA officials Sabrina Lynch and Othyl Haley provided participants with an overview of the eligibility criteria for a number of NHSC programs. These included both the traditional scholarship and loan repayment programs as well as more targeted options focused on the substance use disorder treatment workforce and the needs of rural communities.
For more than 50 years, the NHSC has served as a critical incentive for clinicians to practice in rural and underserved communities in exchange for either scholarship support or loan repayment assistance. PA students and graduates have historically composed approximately 10% of both the current field strength and student pipeline of NHSC clinicians. As such, PAEA has long prioritized significant NHSC funding increases as part of the Association’s advocacy efforts. As a result of long-term advocacy, the NHSC received a one-time funding infusion of $800 million in the spring of 2021 as a component of the Biden administration’s American Rescue Plan Act.
While PAs and PA students have long been eligible for most of the component programs of the NHSC, the fiscal year 2022 cycle is the first for which PA students will be eligible for the Students to Service component. This program, originally created in 2012, provides participants in their last year of school with up to $120,000 in loan repayment aid in exchange for three years of full-time service or six-years of part-time service in an underserved community. Applications for this year’s cycle of the Students to Service loan repayment program are due to HRSA by November 4 at 7:30 PM ET.
PAEA would like to thank HRSA for their collaboration during this event. A recording of the session can be found on PAEA’s Digital Learning Hub, and members with questions about the National Health Service Corps or about PAEA’s advocacy initiatives are invited to contact Tyler Smith at tsmith@PAEAonline.org.