Federal Issues - National Health Service Corps Initiative

AACOM monitors and advocates on federal issues that address or may impact osteopathic medical education. Read on to learn about the National Health Service Corps Initiative, related AACOM activity and additional resources.

  • The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) is accepting loan repayment applications for its 2011 cycle.  With new funds from the ACA, the NHSC will provide primary care medical, nursing, dental, and mental health clinicians up to $60,000 for two years of service and up to $170,000 in loan repayment for a five-year service commitment.  The loan repayment program offers three options for fulfilling the service obligation:  a two-year full-time contract, a four-year half-time contract, and a two-year half-time contract.  The service obligation for clinical practice hours has been updated to include a 20 percent credit for teaching and a 50 percent credit for teaching at a Teaching Health Center.  The 2011 NHSC Loan Repayment Program application cycle will end on May 26, 2011.  A technical assistance call will be held on November 30, 2010, at 2:00 PM EST; an audio recording will be available one hour after the call ends until December 31, 2010, at 1-866-383-3135.  Please visit for more information or to begin the application process.  The ACA includes $290 million to address shortages in the primary health care workforce and provides more flexibility in how the NHSC administers the loan repayment program.
  • In March 2010, clinicians working 20 to 39 hours per week for at least 45 weeks each year at NHSC-approved facilities will be eligible to apply to the NHSC Demonstration Program for Part-Time Loan Repayment.  The demonstration program’s criteria will be comparable to the NHSC Loan Repayment Program.  Approximately 400 awards will be given to eligible clinicians who commit to a four-year service agreement.  Recipients will receive up to $50,000 in exchange for their four-year service commitment and may be given the option of extending the commitment for two additional years. 
  • Mary K. Wakefield, PhD, RN, Administrator, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and Kyu Rhee, MD, Chief Public Health Officer, HRSA, have written a letter introducing the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) loan repayment and scholarship program opportunities and providing general information about the benefits of the programs.  We encourage you to share this letter with your constituents, including medical students and residents. Download the letter to read and share.
  • Please spread the word about the National Health Service Corps’ Loan Repayment Program to all primary care clinicians who currently work in or are interested in working in underserved communities. Applicants are encouraged to apply early as applications are being accepted continuously until available funds are expended or through July 29, 2010, whichever is earlier.

For questions please contact the HRSA Call Center at 1-800-221-9393.

  • AACOM partnered with AAMC to bring together representatives from four national organizations with officials of the NHSC at AACOM’s office on 06/25/09 to discuss NHSC programs. Dr. Stephen C. Shannon, President and CEO of AACOM, welcomed the participants, which included Mark Pincus, the NHSC’s Director of the Division of Site and Clinical Recruitment, and representatives from AACOM, AAMC, AOA, and the American Medical Association.

    Representatives of the groups and NHSC officials discussed collaborating on the recruitment of applicants for NHSC’s scholarship and loan repayment programs. Several options for marketing to medical student and residents were discussed, including use of websites, social media, online advertisements or widgets, print advertising, radio advertising, and talking points for speeches and meetings

    AACOM pledged its support for promoting the NHSC programs, which for nearly 40 years have provided scholarships and loan repayments for more than 30,000 doctors, dentists, and other health professionals who provide health care in the most geographically isolated and economically distressed regions of the country.

Updated: 11/24/2010


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