The National Health Service Corps received $229.4 million in 2012 to support more physicians and nurses and increase access to primary care, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced.
The investments included nearly 4,600 loan repayment and scholarship awards to clinicians and students, and grants to 32 states to support loan repayment programs.
“Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, the National Health Service Corps is providing loans and scholarships to more doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers, so more people get the care they need,” Sebelius said in a news release.
Sebelius said NHSC clinicians provide care to approximately 10.4 million patients nationwide.
The NHSC provides financial, professional and educational resources to medical, dental, and mental and behavioral healthcare providers who bring their skills to areas of the United States with limited access to healthcare.
With nearly 10,000 providers, the NHSC has almost tripled since 2008. In addition to Corps clinicians currently providing care, nearly 1,000 students, residents and health providers receive scholarships or participate in the Student to Service Loan Repayment program as preparation for practice.
The Oct. 11 announcement was made in conjunction with the celebration of the NHSCs annual Corps Community Day.
Established in 1970, the NHSC, administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration, has provided healthcare to communities across the country by supporting more than 42,000 primary care practitioners over its history.
For more information about the grants, visit www.hrsa.gov/about/organization/bureaus/bcrs/nhscoverview.html.