HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration is devoting $5 million in federal grants to a student-loan repayment program in high opioid-use areas where there’s a shortage of substance-abuse treatment professionals.
The application period opened May 1 and runs through June 3. An administration spokesman says the new program is fairly unique in the opioid-epidemic response.
The administration says there are 30 counties where opioid abuse is most prevalent, including Mercer and Lawrence counties.
While applications are not limited to these counties, practitioners in these counties could receive additional points when being considered for the loan repayment program.
Successful applicants must have served two years treating substance abuse and opioid addiction. They’ll be obligated to commit to two additional years working at an approved treatment facility.
The state has an existing student-loan repayment program for primary care physicians using $2.6 million in state and federal funds.
There’s more information about the program on Governor Wolf’s website and on the Department of Health’s Substance Use Disorder Loan Repayment Program website.