Education | Health

Indian Health Service to award scholarships and loan repayments






The Woodrow Wilson Keeble Memorial Health Care Center is an Indian Health Service facility in Sisseton, South Dakota. Photo: Indian Health Service Dental Careers

The Indian Health Service is accepting applications for two key educational and workforce development programs.

The agency plans to award about $13.7 million as part of the IHS Scholarship Program. Upwards of 300 students who are interested in pursuing health careers are expected to benefit from the funds.

Additionally, the IHS plans to provide about $30 million under the Loan Repayment Program. Health professionals and nurses who commit to working for the agency can receive funds to pay off their student loans.

"The IHS Scholarship and Loan Repayment programs are two of our best recruitment and retention tools to increase the number of healthcare providers serving Indian Health Programs," IHS Principal Deputy Director Mary L. Smith said in a press release.

Smith noted that the IHS is "re-aligning" both programs in order to address staffing needs and vacancies at facilities across Indian Country. Physicians, physician assistants/nurse practitioners, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, behavioral health providers and optometrists are considered priorities, according to the agency.

Applications for scholarships are due on March 28, although those seeking to extend existing awards must apply by February 28. Loan repayment applications are due August 15.

A notice published in the Federal Register on Tuesday, as well as one to be published on Wednesday, offer additional details about the scholarship awards and loan repayments.

Federal Register Notice:
Indian Health Professions Preparatory, Indian Health Professions Pre-Graduate and Indian Health Professions Scholarship Programs (January 10, 2017)

Forthcoming Federal Register Notice:
Loan Repayment Program for Repayment of Health Professions Educational Loans (To Be Published January 11, 2017)