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January 23, 2019

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Opioid Crisis Program Offers Loan Repayment for Service Commitment

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is offering loan repayment assistance through a new National Health Service Corps (NHSC) program to eligible health care clinicians in exchange for two-to-three-year service commitments in underserved communities affected by the opioid crisis. More information on the program, which is accepting applications now, is available here. Applications for the first cycle are due Feb. 21.

Clinicians accepted to the program may receive up to $75,000 for three years of full-time service at a health care facility that has been designated by HRSA as an NHSC-approved substance use disorder site. A part-time service option, with a maximum award of $37,500, is also available. ID and HIV providers who are trained and licensed to provide substance use treatment would be eligible if they are working at a NHSCapproved substance use disorder site, which may include state or local health departments, Federally Qualified Health Care Centers, Critical Access Hospitals, correctional facilities, community health centers and other settings.

IDSA and HIVMA have advocated for loan repayment and other mechanisms to help develop the workforce needed to address the opioid crisis, including its infectious diseases complications. Comprehensive legislation responding to the opioid epidemic and signed into law in 2018 known as the SUPPORT Actauthorized $25 million for a new loan repayment program that would offer up to $250,000 in loan repayment to individuals working as substance use treatment providers in high-need areas. IDSA and HIVMA will advocate this year for full funding of the larger substance use treatment loan repayment program authorized by the SUPPORT Act and urge for opportunities to better target ID and HIV providers.

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