The Oklahoma State Department of Health and its Office of Primary Care has recently launched a loan repayment program for health professionals working in shortage areas. Known as OK Health Corps, the program offers financial support to those in need of loan repayment through a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Health professionals in primary care, mental health, and dental health are eligible to receive awards of up to $50,000 through the OK Health Corps program. To be considered for this award, recipients must commit to two years of service in community facilities certified under the National Health Services Corps, a federal program that supports providers through loan repayment. These facilities must be located in designated health professional shortage areas and must fill out a site agreement.
Mental health and substance use disorder specialists receive priority when it comes to awards, but additional providers in other disciplines will also be considered depending on available resources. Recipients must sign a contract with the State Department of Health committing to either full- or part-time service with a full-time equivalent of 40 hours per week and part-time equivalent to 20 hours per week with a minimum of 45 weeks per service year.
The goal of the OK Health Corps program is to provide incentives for providers to practice in significant need areas in Oklahoma, as stated by Jana Castleberry, Director of the Office of Primary Care. Interested applicants can apply online through the department’s website for this valuable opportunity.