HHS awarded $116 million in federal grants for primary-care training and workforce development programs for physicians and dentists, with the funds to be used primarily to prepare clinicians who will serve in medically underserved and ethnically diverse populations.
HHS awards $116 million for workforce development
The recipients of the primary-care workforce grants were announced as part of an overall $130.8 million block of healthcare grants that were unveiled in an HHS news conference Friday morning. HHS also published the full slate of grant recipients, in state-by-state lists.
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said about $89 million of the $116 million for primary-care education programs came from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Sebelius said that between the 2009 stimulus law and 2010's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, federal grants are expected to be used to train 16,000 new primary-care providers in the next five years.
Of the grants, $50.5 million will support the purchase of new equipment by colleges and academic medical centers to support training and education; $42.1 million will support colleges that train clinicians who will work in underserved areas; and $23.9 million will go to workforce development programs supporting dentists and oral health.
Grant programs that were announced but did not include stimulus funding included: $8.3 million to support 29 state grants for student-loan repayment assistance for primary-care professionals who agree to work in what are deemed “federal health professional shortage areas”; $3.8 million for 10 grants for chronic disease management; and $2.1 million for programs that increase diversity in schools of health education.
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