Address: 250 Washington Street, Boston MA 02108 Project Director: Silvia Banos-Aguayo Contact Phone Number: 617-519-8451 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: https://www.mass.gov/the-massachusetts-health-care-workforce-center-hcwc Funds Requested: $1,000,000 Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) requests $1,000,000 to support its Massachusetts Loan Repayment Program (MLRP). This funding will allow MDPH to address significant unmet primary care and behavioral health needs in underserved areas of the state that were made worse by Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). MLRP is a program within the Health Care Workforce Center (HCWC) at MDPH. The MLRP strengthens the state’s primary care infrastructure and addresses health access and outcome inequities. The program targets the state’s most pressing primary care workforce needs and reduces disparities in access to care, focusing on underserved and vulnerable rural and urban communities, low-income residents, multi-culturally and racially diverse populations, and others who face significant health inequities and difficulty accessing care. The purpose of MLRP is to offer loan repayment to providers working in Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) in Massachusetts to increase access to primary care, behavioral health care, and dental care in communities that have significant shortages of health care providers and other identified barriers to care. MLRP has four main objectives: 1. Health Professional Loan Repayment Awards: By August 31, 2026, improve health care access for underserved populations and increase the number of primary care, behavioral health, and dental providers working in and/or retained in HPSAs by at least 144 new loan repayment awards. 2. Health Professions Data: Annually collect, analyze, and report on health professions data to identify workforce trends and gaps, inform policy making and program development, and monitor the impacts of the MLRP program. 3. He
alth Professional Retention: Annually evaluate the retention of health professionals, during and after the obligated period, for a better understanding and determine appropriate program changes and best practices for increasing retention. 4. Engage Partners and Key Stakeholders: Regularly engage partners and key stakeholders to inform MLRP policies, activities, and evaluation, to extend MLRP’s reach in underserved communities, and to support program sustainability. Our proposal addresses the following HRSA clinical priorities: 1) ending the opioid addiction and overdose in America, 2) improving access to mental health care, and 3) transforming the workforce – by targeting the need. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated existing inequities in access to care and the social determinants of health in Massachusetts and resulted in increased health care and mental health needs. We are prioritizing addressing the resulting behavioral health and primary care needs in this proposal. The MLRP is a program of the MDPH’s Health Care Workforce Center and is managed in partnership with the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers. MDPH has state funding from the Commonwealth and the Bureau of Substance Addiction Services to expand the reach of the program. Federal funding will enable the MLRP to build on our 32-year success addressing workforce shortages in high-need areas, strengthen recruitment, and help retain our primary care workforce, ensuring that healthcare remains affordable, high quality, and accessible for all the residents of the Commonwealth.