Washington State’s need for HRSA State Loan Repayment Program funding is critical to the health care workforce stability of our state. The Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) is applying for the SLRP grant in order to address critical health care access and delivery shortages across the State of Washington by recruiting and retaining primary health care professionals to provide service to the state’s rural and underserved urban populations. Providers that commit to working for two years in a federally designated Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) will be eligible to reduce or eliminate their eligible education debt through loan repayment. Participating in SLRP allows Washington State to make a positive impact on providers choosing primary care as a field of practice, assist in correcting the poor distribution of practitioners in our state, and increase access to primary health care services addressing the needs of rural and urban underserved communities. With three times more applicants than we can currently fund and an increasing state population, the need for the State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) funding support is greater now than ever. Washington State is seeking $1,000,000 per year for the length of the four year grant. With this funding, WSAC plans to recruit/retain approximately 80 providers over four years to better serve the high demand for health care providers in Washington State. SLRP funds will help provide access to health care in rural and urban underserved communities, as well as address the health professional shortages that cause disparities in access to health care in our state. Washington State has participated in the SLRP program since 1992 and has demonstrated success in placing and retaining providers in federally designated HPSAs. The proposed project demonstrates effective strategies to meet the primary health care needs of Washington State by having the infrastructure, staff, administrative abili
ty, recruitment and retention strategies, and partnerships needed to address the health care workforce shortage issues in HPSA locations throughout Washington State. Program success will be evaluated by the number of new and continuing health care professionals participating in the program, the level of debt burden reduced for participants, and the length of time providers continue serving in a shortage area beyond their contract obligation.