The Indian Health Service (IHS) is soliciting applications, via an April 18, 2018, FEDERAL REGISTER notice, for the repayment of health professions educational loans. Under the Loan Repayment Program (LRP), authorized under Section 108 of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, the IHS may make awards to persons for the repayment of health professions educational loans in return for full-time clinical service in Indian health programs. The FEDERAL REGISTER NOTICE may be found here: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-04-18/pdf/2018-07892.pdf and the application materials may be obtained here: http://www.ihs.gov/loanrepayment
The IHS estimates that it will provide $17.7 million in FY 2018 funds for the LRP, which will support “approximately 384 competing awards averaging $46,210 per award for a two-year contract.” Applications for the FY 2018 LRP will be evaluated monthly beginning April 18, 2018, and will continue to be accepted each month thereafter until all funds are exhausted for FY 2018. Subsequent monthly deadline dates are scheduled for Friday of the second full week of each month until August 15, 2018.
In addition, $9.32 million is estimated to be available for “approximately 373 competing awards averaging $25,000 per award for a one-year extension.”
The attached notice contains a list of priority health professions that will be considered in making awards under the LRP. In addition to the level of need for specific disciplines, factors that will be taken into consideration are: 1) an applicant’s length of current employment in the IHS, tribal, or urban program; 2) availability for service earlier than other applicants; and 3) date of receipt of the individual’s application.
The IHS Area Offices and Service Units are authorized to provide supplemental funds for LRP participants for use in their areas, but the total amount cannot exceed the amount authorized by statute plus tax assistance.
Additional information regarding this program may be obtained from:
Chief, IHS Loan Repayment Program
5600 Fishers Lane
Mail Stop: OHR (11E53A)
Rockville, Maryland 20857
Finally, we note that the IHS, in the Budget Justification regarding its proposed FY 2019 appropriations, has recommended legislation that would allow the IHS loan repayment and scholarship obligations to be allowed for part time work (20 hours per week) in return for four-year clinical service or accept half the amount of IHS discretionary use of awards in exchange for a two-year service obligation; another IHS proposal is for an option to allow combined part-time clinical and part-time administrative work.
We remind potential applicants that because of the great demand for the IHS loan repayment funds, persons intending to apply should do so early.