Pennsylvania Department of Health Announces New Substance Use Disorder Loan Repayment Program
January 22, 2019
Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Substance Use Disorder Loan Repayment Program offers educational loan repayment to practitioners who provide behavioral health care and treatment for substance use disorder and opioid addiction in designated Health Professional Shortage Areas and designated high substance use counties. The program aims to increase access to behavioral health care services associated with opioid use in underserved and high-use communities and improve recruitment and retention of health practitioners in underserved and opioid high-use communities.
Eligible providers include physicians, psychiatrists, certified alcohol and drug counselors, certified advanced alcohol and drug counselors, physician assistants (PA-C), certified registered nurse practitioners (CRNP), psychologists, licensed clinical social workers (LCSW), licensed social workers (LSW), and licensed professional counselors (LPC).
Practitioners must have already served two years treating substance use disorder and opioid addiction. They also must commit to a two-year contract to provide future services; work at a practice site approved by the SUD LRP; be a graduate of an accredited educational program in the U.S.; maintain a valid Pennsylvania license/certification; submit a complete application to the department and be approved by the department for participation. At least 50 percent of their work must be associated with substance (drug) use counseling, medication assisted treatment, and other related support services with an established plan of care. Practitioners providing referral-based services only are not eligible.
- Loan repayment is provided for practitioners in exchange for two years of past service and a commitment to two additional years of full-time or half-time service at an approved practice site.
- Physicians and Psychiatrists can receive up to $100,000 of educational loan repayment for a full-time service commitment and/or up to $50,000 of educational loan repayment for a half-time service commitment.
- Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselors, Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselors, PA-Cs, CRNPs, Psychologists, LCSWs, LSWs, and LPCs can receive up to $60,000 of educational loan repayment for a full-time service commitment and/or up to $30,000 of educational loan repayment for a half-time service commitment.
Applications may only be submitted via a web-based application in response to a competitive Request for Applications (RFA). Consideration for awards will include community need, Pennsylvania residency, graduation from Pennsylvania educational institutions, attainment of a health professions license within the past 10 years, and a connection to the community where the applicant is practicing.
For more information or to be notified when an RFA is announced, contact Pennsylvania Department of Health—Bureau of Health Planning at (717) 772-5298.