HHS Announces New $15 Million Loan Repayment Program to Strengthen the Pediatric Health Care Workforce

Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), launched the new Pediatric Specialty Loan Repayment Program, a $15 million investment to recruit and retain clinicians who provide health care to children and adolescents.

In exchange for three years of service working in a health professional shortage area, medically underserved area, or providing care to a medically underserved population, the Pediatric Specialty Loan Repayment Program provides up to $100,000 to eligible clinicians providing pediatric medical subspecialty, pediatric surgical specialty, or child and adolescent behavioral health care, including substance use prevention and treatment services. The application deadline is July 20, 2023, at 7:30 p.m. ET. 

“In order to improve access to care for children and young people in underserved areas, we need to expand the health care workforce,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “Through the Pediatric Specialty Loan Repayment Program, we will be able to recruit and train new doctors, nurses, counselors, and other health professionals, and improve health outcomes for young people.”

The Pediatric Specialty Loan Repayment Program aims to increase access to pediatric subspecialty care, including the behavioral health needs in school-based settings across the United States. The program also complements HRSA’s existing loan repayment and scholarship programs by offering opportunities in the range of disciplines that serve children such as neonatal-perinatal medicine and pediatric cardiology.

“At the Health Resources and Services Administration, we are focused on recruiting and training the next generation of the health care workforce, yet we know that the cost of medical training can be a barrier for far too many people,” said HRSA Administrator Carole Johnson. “That is why we are excited to launch this new loan repayment program specifically focused on supporting pediatric clinicians.” 

Today’s announcement builds upon HRSA’s work to improve access to care for children and adolescents, including: 

  • HRSA’s Pediatric Mental Health Care Access Program, which ensures that providers working with children in primary care practices, schools, emergency departments and other settings have access to both mental health training and mental health expert teleconsultations.
  • HRSA’s Screening and Treatment for Maternal Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders Program, which provides training for OB/GYNs, Certified Nurse Midwives and other maternal care providers to support the mental health needs of their patients and teleconsultation options to get real-time support from mental health experts in managing their cases.
  • HRSA’s Emergency Medical Services for Children supports the health care workforce with the specialized pediatric skills, training, and equipment to provide quality emergency care services for seriously ill and injured children—no matter where they live.
  • HRSA’s Bright Futures Program improves the health of our nation’s infants, children, and adolescents by maintaining and sharing clinical guidelines that are age-specific, based on the best available scientific evidence, and help increase the quality of primary and preventive care.

Visit the Pediatric Specialty Loan Repayment Program to review a list of all eligible disciplines and specialties, learn about the program’s application requirement, and to apply.

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