Rural Health and Primary Care Programs

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Loan Repayment and Loan Forgiveness Programs

A variety of Federal and State funded educational loan repayment and loan forgiveness programs are available to health care providers to help meet the needs of Vermonters. These programs prioritize rural and underserved areas and may cover some or all of the following professions:

Click on the links below for more information about eligibility and application process for each program:

Vermont Area Health Education Center Program (AHEC)
AHEC administers: Vermont Educational Loan Repayment Programs for Primary Care Providers (including Physicians, Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, Certified Nurse Midwives or Physician Assistants); Dentists; Registered Nurses and Licenced Practical Nurses; and Nurse Educators/Faculty.

Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC)
VSAC administers: Scholarship and Incentive Loans for Dentists, Dental Hygienists and Nursing students.

National Health Service Corps (NHSC)
NHSC program supports many primary care, oral health and mental health providers in approved sites located in eligible designated Health Professional Shortage Areas. The NHSC program in Vermont is coordinated by the Vermont/New Hampshire Recruitment Center.

HRSA's (Health Resources and Services Administration) "State Loan Repayment Program" is not active in Vermont due to the limited number of HPSA designations in the state.

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Underserved Designations

The Office of Rural Health and Primary Care oversees the designation process for underserved areas and populations within Vermont. These designations allow health care providers and organizations to take advantage of different state and federal programs to help improve the health of their communities.

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J-1 Visa Waivers

A limited number of J-1 Visa waivers are granted to non-resident physicians who agree to work in an underserved area of Vermont for a period of three years.

J-1 / Conrad 30 Visa Waiver Program Information

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Rural Hospital Flexibility Program

The Rural Hospital Flexibility Program is a federal initiative that provides funding to state governments to strengthen rural health.

In general the program has five goals:

  1. developing state rural health plans
  2. designating Critical Access Hospitals
  3. developing rural health networks
  4. improving emergency medical services (EMS)
  5. enhancing quality of care

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