Pa. announces student loan relief for medical providers on opioid crisis front lines

Molly Daly
May 20, 2019 - 4:00 am

Charles Wollertz/Getty Images


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Wolf administration announced Wednesday that it's adding $5 million in federal grants to a student loan repayment program for health care practitioners in communities with high opioid use.  

Pennsylvania Department of Health press secretary Nate Wardle says the program offers medical professionals an incentive to practice where they're most needed by lightening their educational debt load.

"These loan repayments are for people who are either currently working, or planning to go into, the fields of behavioral healthcare, and treating those who are dealing with the disease of addiction," Wardle said.

The state says opioid use is most prevalent in 30 counties, including Philadelphia, Delaware, Bucks, and Lancaster counties.

"Practitioners who are working in those 30 counties could receive additional points on their applications as they're being considered for the loan repayment program," he added.

Practitioners have to have spent two years treating substance abuse and opioid addiction, and will need to commit to working at least another two years at an approved facility.

Applications, which can be found here, will be accepted through June 3.