Stimulus funds now available to train health care professionals

July 30, 2009

Hey students! Funding for health care industry training may have gotten a little bit easier. The Department of Health & Human Services announced Tuesday the availability of $200 million in stimulus funds to increase training for health care professionals. David Bowman is a spokesman for Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). He says the program plans to help about 8,000 students and credentialed health care professionals by the end of fiscal year 2010 in the form of grants, loans, loan repayment and scholarships. Bowman says funds in the nationwide program will be awarded primarily to academic institutions. What does this mean for you -- the aspiring health care professional? Let's break it down: -$80.2 million will go to scholarships, loans, loan repayment for students, health professionals and faculty: $39 million of that will go to nurses and nurse faculty $40 million to disadvantaged students $1.2 million to faculty from disadvantaged backgrounds -$50 million for health professions training programs like purchasing equipment to improve the quality of training programs -$47.6 million for residents, medical students, physician assistants, dentists and people who practice in underserved areas -$10.5 million to support public health traineeships and increase preventative medicine training and dental public health residencies -$10.2 million to increase diversity in the health care workforce -$1.5 million to support state professional licensing boards in reducing barriers to telemedicine ARRA awarded HRSA with $500 million in stimulus funds. The other $300 million is allotted for HRSA's National Health Service Corps. That program offers scholarships and loan repayment to primary care providers in professional shortage areas. Check back on the blog and HRSA's Web site for updates to see if your institution is included.