HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced awards totaling $33 million to expand the training of health care professionals. The funds are part of the $500 million allotted to HHS’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to address workforce shortages under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
“President Obama is committed to passing health insurance reform and we’re closer to reform than ever before,” said Secretary Sebelius. “The Recovery Act will help ensure we grow our health care workforce and give our aspiring doctors, nurses and health professionals the tools and training they need to provide top-quality care to more Americans.”
“As we mark 200 days since President Obama signed ARRA, HRSA has moved quickly to distribute most of the $2.5 billion assigned to us,” said HRSA Administrator Mary Wakefield, Ph.D., R.N. “These funds are helping us rebuild the infrastructure needed to produce more skilled health professionals, and they are expanding essential primary care services to hundreds of thousands of additional Americans through our health center system.”
The grants announced today, with funding totals, are distributed through six HRSA programs:
Today’s grants follow an Aug. 12 announcement by HHS Deputy Secretary Bill Corr of $13.4 million in ARRA funds for loan repayments to nurses who agree to practice in facilities with critical shortages and for schools of nursing to provide loans to students who will become nurse faculty.
To date, HHS has announced the availability of nearly $200 million in ARRA workforce funds, of a total $300 million, to expand HRSA’s National Health Service Corps. The funds will pay for student loan repayments for primary care medical dental and mental health clinicians who wish to practice, for a minimum of two years, in NHSC sites that treat underserved and uninsured people.
In addition, HRSA received $2 billion through ARRA to expand health care services to low-income and uninsured individuals through its health center program. To date, more than $1.3 billion of these funds have been awarded to community-based organizations across the country. HRSA-supported health centers treated 17 million patients in 2008, 40 percent of whom have no health insurance.
Health Professions Awards by Program are located at http://www.hhs.gov/recovery/programs/hrsa/healthprofessionsawardees.html.
Health Professions Awards by State are located at http://www.hhs.gov/recovery/programs/hrsa/healthprofessionsawardeesbystate.html.