HHS awards $293 million to expand primary health care workforce

October 18, 2018 – Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced $293 million in awards to primary health care clinicians and students through the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) and Nurse Corps programs.

“These programs connect primary care providers with the rural, urban, and tribal communities across the country that need them most,” said HRSA Administrator George Sigounas, MS, Ph.D. “In addition to providing essential medical and dental care, these clinicians are on the front lines helping to fight pressing public health issues, like the growing opioid epidemic.”

The NHSC and Nurse Corps programs build healthy communities by providing scholarships and loan repayment to health care providers in exchange for working in areas of the U.S. with limited access to care.

Currently, an estimated 13 million patients receive care from more than 12,500 NHSC and Nurse Corps clinicians. Another 1,725 primary care students are either in school or in residency preparing for future service with the Corps programs.

More than 3,600 of these NHSC members are currently providing behavioral health care services, including medication-assisted treatment and other evidence-based substance use disorder care, in high-need areas. HRSA continues to invest in expanding access to substance use disorder treatment in rural and underserved areas.

“For decades, NHSC and Nurse Corps clinicians have been caring for vulnerable patients who might otherwise go without treatment,” said HRSA’s Associate Administrator for Health Workforce, Luis Padilla, M.D. “In the midst of the current opioid crisis, these providers are again rising to the challenge, working in hard-hit communities to provide mental and behavioral health services, including substance use disorder treatment.”

To learn more and to see a list of programs awarded, please click here.