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$900,000 Goes To Medical Professionals Working In Rural And Underserved Parts Of Oregon

Fabrizo Pece

The first round of student loan repayments have been awarded, in a program designed to boost the number of health care providers in underserved and rural communities in Oregon. KLCC’s Brian Bull reports.

Credit Fabrizo Pece / Flickr.com

$900,000 is being divided among 17 medical, dental, and mental health professionals across the state, through the Health Care Provider Incentive Program. Participants commit to a three-year term in exchange for a tax-free award towards up to half of their educational loan debt, from $25,000 to $35,000 a year.

Joe Sullivan of the Oregon Health Authority is the program’s coordinator.

“It’s helping to provide care for people in areas throughout the state where there are shortages, or lack of health care professionals," says Joe Sullivan, the program's coordinator through the Oregon Health Authority. "We’ve identified over half of the state as having health professional shortages.”

Sullivan says the Health Care Provider Incentive Program has four more award cycles between now and June 2019. It was established by the state legislature two years ago. 

Copyright 2018, KLCC.

Copyright 2018 KLCC

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. He is a 20-year reporter who has worked at NPR, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including three Edward R. Murrow Awards and the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award in 2012.