FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE      CONTACT: Donna Tommelleo, 860-524-7313

June 17, 2008                       



Primary Care Practitioners in Underserved Areas

Could Receive $50,000 to Help Repay Student Loans



            Governor M. Jodi Rell today announced that dozens of doctors, nurses, dentists and other primary care health professionals who agree to practice in the state’s underserved and rural areas following graduation may be eligible for $50,000 to help repay their student loans through a federal stimulus-funded program.


            “This funding will help ensure much-needed quality health care to families in underserved areas,” Governor Rell said. “The program can also help ease some of the financial burdens young doctors, dentists and other health care professionals face in paying off their loans, especially in these economic times.”


            The Governor said the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is making nearly $200 million available nationwide through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). Eligible practitioners who want to work at National Health Service Corps (NHSC) sites could receive $50,000 toward loan repayment in exchange for two years of service. Upon completion of the service commitment, clinicians may be eligible to apply for additional support for extended service.


In Connecticut, program participants generally work for Community Health Centers, which provide comprehensive primary care in areas federally designated as underserved – primarily larger urban areas or cities.


The Governor said the HHS stimulus funding level for Connecticut can accommodate nearly 100 eligible primary care professionals.  Primary care professions that may be eligible for the funding include:

·        Medical (MD) or Osteopathic (DO) Physician

·        Primary Care Nurse Practitioner

·        Certified Nurse-Midwife

·        Primary Care Physician Assistant

·        Dentist

·        Dental Hygienist

·        Health Service Psychologist

·        Licensed Clinical Social Worker

·        Psychiatric Nurse Specialist

·        Marriage and Family Therapist

·        Licensed Professional Counselor


            Approximately 1-in-4 Connecticut residents, or nearly 800,000 people, live in health professional shortage areas, defined by the federal government as areas with less than one physician for every 3,500 residents. The state has 95 such designations in all or part of 31 towns across Connecticut’s eight counties.


            “This initiative strengthens our primary care across the state and is cost effective,” Governor Rell said. “Broader access to quality preventive care will cut down on expensive emergency room visits. These stimulus funds present a tremendous opportunity for our residents and medical community and I strongly encourage eligible practitioners to apply”


            Those health care professionals interesting in participating in the program may call 1-800-221-9393 or go to: Application deadline is September 30, 2010. For information on the ARRA programs in Connecticut or visit the state’s stimulus Web site at and click on the CT Recovery link.