Posted on Friday June 14, 2013
There is a well-documented shortage of health care providers in many rural and urban communities; this is only expected to become worse in the future. Wisconsin is fortunate to have a well-funded Health Professions Loan Assistance Program, which leverages federal funds to provide education debt repayment awards to providers who agree to work in these rural and urban underserved areas. These awards are a provider recruitment and retention tool. In order to be an effective tool, providers must be aware of this opportunity. WI-ORH staff engage providers and health care students in a number of ways throughout Wisconsin and neighboring states. These include participating in physician assistant program job fairs and orientation programs, speaking directly with students at medical and dental schools, talking with medical residents throughout the state and providing nurse practitioner and dental hygiene training programs with program information. WI-ORH staff have talked directly with hundreds of students and providers about the loan assistance program, promoting loan assistance and also talking with them about pursuing careers working in underserved communities.