Important Facts
Amount Awarded by Profession and Fiscal Year, Utah, FY 99 - FY 06
Number of Grants Awarded by Profession and Fiscal Year, Utah, FY 99 - FY 06

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Important Facts for UDOH Support for Health Professional Education (Grants Program)
 
Definition
Total funds awarded for health professional educational loan repayment grants. The name of program is the Utah Health Care Work Force Financial Assistance Program.

Numerator
Total funds awarded for health professional educational loan repayment grants.

Denominator
Not applicable.

Why Is This Important?
The Division of Health Systems Improvement, Office of Primary Care and Rural Health, supports the Utah Health Care Work Force Financial Assistance Program (26-46, UCA). The program is funded with non-lapsing state general funds. The Utah Health Care Work Force Financial Assistance Program also supports activities of three federal programs [National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program (100% federal), National Health Services Corps State Loan Repayment Program (50% federal/50% state), and the Primary Care Office Conrad State 30 J-1 Visa Waiver Program].The Utah Health Care Work Force Financial Assistance Program was created to provide professional education scholarships and loan repayment assistance to health care professionals who locate or continue to practice in underserved areas of Utah. The purpose of the Utah Health Care Work Force Financial Assistance Program is to increase and maintain the number of health care professionals practicing in rural and underserved areas of Utah.

Other Objectives
The Utah Health Care Work Force Financial Assistance Program supports increased access to health care services in rural and underserved communities by awarding service based educational loan repayment to needed health professionals.The Utah Health Care Work Force Financial Assistance Program directly impacts the Utah Department of Health goal of access to high quality, affordable health care by working to support primary care to rural and urban underserved populations. By supporting the primary care infrastructure in rural Utah, the Utah Health Care Work Force Financial Assistance Program indirectly supports the goals of healthy behaviors and safe communities. The Utah Health Care Work Force Financial Assistance Program also supports the Utah Department of Health in its efforts to comply with the Healthy People 2010 (HP2010) objective of promoting health and preventing illness, disability, and premature death.The Utah Health Care Work Force Financial Assistance Program embraces the two central goals to increase quality and years of healthy life and to eliminate health disparities. The Utah Health Care Work Force Financial Assistance Program activities are consistent with Utah Department of Health goals and objectives including assistance in recruitment of health professional students and practitioners to work in medically underserved areas of Utah.

How Are We Doing?
Since 1990, health professionals recruited to work in medically underserved areas of Utah cover 28 of Utah's 29 counties, and include: 5 dentists, 10 mental health therapists, 168 nurses, 69 physicians, and 20 physician assistants.The Utah Health Care Work Force Financial Assistance Program also assisted in the activities associated with the federally funded programs (Primary Care Office and State Office of Rural Health for National Health Service Corps placements and the Conrad State 30 J-1 Visa Waiver Program).The Conrad State 30 J-1 Visa Waiver Program assists up to 30 foreign medical graduates recruited to Utah medically underserved areas annually.Through the federally funded Primary Care Office grant, Utah has assured health professional shortage area (HPSA) designation of primary care medical, oral health, and mental health areas. All 29 counties have a full-county or partial-county oral health and primary care medical HPSA designation, while 27 of the 29 counties have a full-county or partial-county mental health HPSA designation. HPSA designations are completed on a three-year cycle for each of the three different types of designations (primary care medical, oral health, and mental health) and are expected to remain consistent in the future.The goals and objectives set in the federally funded programs awarded have included the following activities: 1) since FY 96-97 assistance to 19 of Utah's 29 counties in placing 56 National Health Service Corps scholars and loan repayment recipients to provide primary health care services to Utah's medically underserved populations, through the Primary Care Office and State Office of Rural Health grant; and 2) since FY 96-97 assistance to 14 of Utah's 29 counties in placing 61 foreign medical graduates in federally designated HPSA, through the Conrad State 30 J-1 Visa Waiver Program offered by the U.S. Department of State, serving Utah's medically underserved populations, funded through the Primary Care Office grant.

What Is Being Done?
The Utah Health Care Work Force Financial Assistance Program will increase and maintain the number of health care professionals practicing in rural and underserved areas of Utah through educational loan repayment assistance grants. Educational loan repayment assistance grants have assisted in retaining Utah health care professionals working in rural and underserved areas of Utah after completion of their service obligation to the state, which is shown through a retention survey completed in October 2001.58% of nurses were retained, 91% of physicians were retained, 91% of physician assistants were retained, 100% of dentists were retained, and 53% of mental health therapists were retained.

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This page last updated 12/18/2013