Colorado program helps repay student loans to help fill medical care gap in rural areas

Feb 26, 2017

A Colorado program that helps repay the student loans of doctors who work in rural areas or underserved areas is gearing up for what could be its largest grant class ever.

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As The Denver Post reports, the Colorado Health Service Corps will begin accepting applications for the new grants March first and as much as $5 million dollars could be available to repay loans for as many as 60 physicians and other providers. 

The grants are awarded to doctors and other health care providers who are working in areas with officially designated shortages of health professionals. In Colorado, those shortages are typically in rural areas.

Steve Holloway, who oversees the program told the Denver Post that hospitals and clinics cannot guarantee to doctors that they will receive student loan repayment grants as part of their work but do sometimes use that possibility as a recruitment tool.

The program has helped repay the loans of more than 400 providers since it began in 2009.