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HHS Awards $131M for Health Professions Workforce

Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, September 20, 2010

Health and Human Service Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced on Friday that nearly $131 million in grants will be used to strengthen and expand the health professions workforce. The grants include $88.7 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Six areas are targeted under the grants:

Primary care workforce training.($42.1 million) The grants will support family medicine, general internal medicine, and general pediatrics programs, including curriculum development, faculty development, didactic and community?based education, and training in underserved areas for primary care residents, pre?doctoral students, interdisciplinary and inter?professional graduate students, and physician assistant students.

Oral health workforce training. ($24.9 million) Funding will target workforce development programs for pre- and post-doctoral training for dental residents; dental faculty; loan repayment for faculty who teach primary care dentistry; and training for practicing dentists, or other approved dental trainees in general, pediatric, and public health dentistry and dental hygiene programs.

Funding also includes $4 million to states to provide nine new grantees the opportunity to address their states' unique oral health workforce needs in underserved urban and rural areas. Grants are designed to strengthen the delivery of multidisciplinary comprehensive oral healthcare.

Equipment to enhance training across the health professions. ($50.5 million) Funding from the Recovery Act will provide 208 awards to assist with the purchase of equipment for training current and future health professionals across disciplines at the undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate education levels. Awardees will include academic health centers, area health education centers, centers of excellence, and other educational institutions that serve underserved and uninsured patient populations, rural communities, and minorities.

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