2044 Galisteo Street, Suite 4, Santa Fe NM 87505 NM Higher Education Dept. (505) 795-3287 Harrison.Rommel@state.nm.us Hed.state.nm.us $400,000 per budget period requested 1. OVERVIEW: The New Mexico Higher Education Department (NMHED) is a current HRSA SLRP award recipient. Another award will support debt relief and placement of approximately 16 health care providers annually statewide, with an additional 16 served with matching funds. The HRSA-funded program aligns with a program created via state statute, the New Mexico Legislature enacted the Health Professional Loan Repayment (HPLR) Act. The program increases the number of health professionals in underserved areas of the state through an educational loan repayment program (Laws 21-22D NMSA 1978). Delegation of duties under the Act fall within the purview of the NMHED Financial Aid Division. New Mexico continues to face a chronic shortage of healthcare providers across disciplines, as evidenced by designated Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) in 32 of 33 New Mexico counties. Fully 29 of New Mexico’s 33 counties are designated as Primary Care HPSA Geographic areas, of which 10 are designated Geographic High Need (HRSA). Moreover, 15 of the 33 counties are Mental Health HPSA Geographic High Need areas. Cumulatively, there are 273 HSPA designated facilities in 32 New Mexico counties in either Primary Care, Mental Health, or both. 2. OBJECTIVES: Program impact will be evaluated by measuring the number; type; and retention of health practitioners, along with available epidemiological data such as substance abuse incidents. Objectives include: 1. Increase the number of Primary Care and Mental Health and Substance Abuse providers by at least 30 per year, 2. Diversify candidates receiving funds to better reflect New Mexico’s diversity, 3. Reduce the number of HPSAs, 4. Reduce drug and alcohol emergency room visits and deaths, and 5. Retain providers in high-need worksites. 3. CLINICAL PRIO
RITIES: The program will prioritize the clinical priorities of opioid abuse and mental health conditions by placing Mental Health and Substance Abuse care providers in underserved areas of the state. Substance abuse deaths in New Mexico are significantly above national averages, including but not limited to opioid related overdose deaths. According to New Mexico Department of Health data there were 7,281 documented alcohol related deaths and 2,623 drug overdose deaths in the period 2015-2019 (2021 Substance Abuse Epidemiology Report). In the same period there were 6,916 documented overdose-related emergency room visits, underscoring the need for expanded treatment modalities in the state. 4. PROGRAM PLAN: The NMHED Financial Aid Division is requesting $400,000 per year in Federal funds to supplement state efforts in supporting Primary Care and Mental Health/Substance Abuse practitioners in underserved areas of the state through its existing Health Professional Loan Repayment (HPLR) Program. All funds will go directly to loan repayment assistance for health care providers, with program administration and indirect costs covered by the State of New Mexico. The NMHED Financial Aid Division administers the program, operating within HRSA and State of New Mexico guidelines for HPLR. Applicants are recommended by the Health Professional Advisory Committee, a volunteer panel composed of health care professionals nominated by the NMHED Cabinet Secretary. Selections include but are not limited to candidate qualifications, education and experience; type of practice; area and geographic need; and demonstrated practitioner financial need. Working with the State Department of Health, selected participants will be placed in HPSAs across New Mexico. Loan servicers are paid directly. New Mexico continues to commit to matching federal funds to ensure broad impact.