Repaying student loans helps MA health centers get staff

Ordinarily, health centers serving the poor aren't in a great position when it comes to competing for the services of nurse practitioners and physicians. The centers, which serve largely lower-income patients, typically pay much less than other healthcare settings. However, a new program that repays medical student loans has turned things around for centers in Eastern Massachusetts.

The program, which offers $25,000 in loan repayment per year for three years, has helped community health centers in the region place 35 physicians and 12 nurse practitioners at 23 health centers, a huge success given that the centers might otherwise have spent years recruiting to bring in even a single physician. This group includes six current staffers who agreed to stay two or three years. The program is funded by a $5 million grant from Bank of America, with additional funding coming from the state of Massachusetts and a handful of health plans.

To learn more about the loan repayment program:
- read this article from The Boston Globe

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