Oregon Office of Rural Health Announces Federal Loan Repayment Program Award

09/18/09  Portland, Ore.

Creates Oregon Partnership State Loan Repayment Program

The Oregon Office of Rural Health at Oregon Health & Science University has been awarded a $400,000 grant to create the Oregon Partnership State Loan Repayment Program.  The program will be a 1:1 match program, allowing the Office to award $800,000 in loan repayment awards to primary care, mental health and dental providers.  Matching funds will come from the clinics and hospitals that elect to participate in the program.  More than $450,000 in matching funds was pledged at the time the grant was written, evidence of the growing need for incentives to recruit providers to serve Oregon's rural and urban underserved populations.  Loan repayment recipients are required to work in non-profit facilities and offer their services on a sliding fee scale.

"This is a desperately needed resource", says Scott Ekblad, ORH Director.  "During the 09 Legislative Session, legislators defunded Oregon's Rural Health Services Loan Repayment Program, one of our key recruitment tools.  This will allow us to once again attract providers with student loan debt to rural Oregon communities, as well as urban safety net facilities."