Durbin Announces Over $13 Million In Federal Funding To Help Expand Access To Primary Health Care Across Illinois
CHICAGO – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced $13,429,032.80 in federal funding across Illinois to build the state’s primary care workforce and support students to reduce their educational debt in exchange for their service in underserved communities. This funding, provided through the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) National Health Service Corps (NHSC), will help remove financial barriers for health professionals interested in practicing a primary care discipline, and will expand access to health care services in high-need urban and rural areas.
“Where you live should not determine your ability to access quality primary health care. And the burden of student debt shouldn’t prevent dentists, nurses, physician assistants and others from serving children in every corner of the state,” said Durbin. “This important investment will help ensure that all of Illinois’ children can access the necessary tools to lead healthy lives by encouraging primary health care professionals to set up shop in underserved communities.”
Under today’s announcement, the following programs received funding from HRSA:
· NHSC Loan Repayment Program Awards: $9,420,388.30 in funding for 171 new and 124 continuing Loan Repayment Program Awards for Illinois clinicians across all fields, including primary care, oral health, and mental health.
· NHSC Student to Service Loan Repayment Program Awards: $840,000 in funding for seven new Student to Service Loan Repayment Program Awards for Illinois students transitioning to the workforce across all fields, including primary care, oral health, and mental health.
· NHSC Scholarship Program Awards: $3,168,644.52 in funding for 11 new Scholarship Program Awards for Illinois students enrolled in accredited health care programs.
Overall, today’s announcement includes $3,421,293.45 in federal funding for mental and behavioral health professionals across Illinois, which will help address the opioid epidemic and the impact of community violence on mental health and youth development. In Illinois, there currently are 598 NHSC-funded clinicians serving across seven disciplines: 160 Allopathic/Osteopathic Physicians (includes psychiatrists); 35 Dentists; three Registered Dental Hygienists; 163 Nurse Practitioners; 56 Physician Assistants; 25 Certified Nurse Midwives; and 156 working in mental and behavioral health.
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