The Indian Health Service (IHS) is soliciting applications, via the attached January 11, 2017, FEDERAL REGISTER notice, for the repayment of health professions educational loans. Under the Loan Repayment Program (LRP), authorized under Section 108 of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, the IHS may make awards to persons for the repayment of health professions educational loans in return for full-time clinical service in Indian health programs. The IHS is currently being funded via a Continuing Resolution at FY 2016 levels and final amounts for the FY 2017 loan repayment program are subject to the final appropriations of funds.
The IHS estimates that it will provide $18.40 million in FY 2017 funds for the LRP, which will support “approximately 400 competing awards averaging $46,000 per award for a two-year contract.” Applications for the FY 2017 LRP will be evaluated monthly beginning January 15, 2017, and will continue to be accepted each month thereafter until all funds are exhausted for FY 2017. Subsequent monthly deadline dates are scheduled for Friday of the second full week of each month until August 15, 2017.
In addition, $9.32 million is estimated to be available for “approximately 373 competing awards averaging $25,000 per award for a one-year extension.”
The attached notice contains a list of priority health professions that will be considered in making awards under the LRP. Loan repayment awards will be made “only to those individuals serving at facilities which have a site score of 70 or above through March 1, 2017, if funding is available.” In addition to the level of need for specific disciplines, factors that will be taken into consideration are: 1) an applicant’s length of current employment in the IHS, tribal, or urban program; 2) availability for service earlier than other applicants; and 3) date of receipt of the individual’s application. Tribally and urban-administered program staffing needs are to be considered on an equal basis with those of the IHS-administered programs.
The IHS Area Offices and Service Units are authorized to provide supplemental funds for LRP participants for use in their areas, but the total amount cannot exceed the amount authorized by statute plus tax assistance.
Application materials may be obtained here: http://www.ihs.gov/loanrepayment.
Additional information regarding this program may be obtained from:
Chief, IHS Loan Repayment Program
5600 Fishers Lane
Mail Stop: OHR (11E53A)
Rockville, Maryland 20857
We remind potential applicants that because of the great demand for the IHS loan repayment funds, persons intending to apply should do so early.