Increase in FY15 and Extension of Funding Beyond FY16
McLean, VA – The Association of Clinicians for the Underserved (ACU) applauds the White House proposal to extend the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) program through FY2020 and expand the program to include up to 15,000 primary care providers. The program provides loan repayment and scholarships for primary care providers who work in underserved areas of the country.
“The President has shown once again that he strongly supports this effective program and we are proud that he has made access to primary care for the underserved a priority of his Administration. Preserving the NSHC has been ACU’s number one priority because of the critical need for more providers across our country. Today’s announcement will help bring relief to scores of communities desperately in need of primary care access,” said Craig A. Kennedy MPH, ACU’s Executive Director.
The President’s proposed FY15 Budget Request includes funding of $3.95 billion for the NHSC through 2020. This funding will enable the NHSC program to place nearly 15,000 providers in federally designated Health Professional Shortage Areas across the country. Last year the NHSC received more than twice as many applications as it could fund, and almost ten times as many applications for scholarships than funding allowed; this despite the fact that thousands of people were waiting for care in these underserved communities. Thanks to the President’s proposal, thousands of additional primary care providers (including doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurse midwives, dental providers, and mental health providers) will be supported as they seek to work in high need areas of the country.
“The NHSC is a proven, cost-effective program that has a long history of bipartisan support. We look forward to working with the President and Congress to get this proposal enacted as soon as possible. The millions of people in need of a primary care provider can’t wait. In order to increase access to primary care, which has been proven to control costs and improve quality, the expansion of the NHSC must become a reality,” continued Kennedy.
Founded in 1996 by alumni of the National Health Service Corps (NHSC), the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved (ACU) began the Campaign to Save the NHSC last year in order to extend the program beyond FY2016. ACU is a nonprofit, transdisciplinary organization of clinicians, advocates and health care organizations united in a common mission to improve the health of America’s underserved populations and to enhance the development and support of the health care clinicians serving these populations.