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Sebelius makes Recovery Act funding available to expand health professions training


WASHINGTON Programs to increase the number of healthcare professionals got a boost Wednesday when Department of Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced $200 million in funding to expand training.

Sebelius said the money will go toward grants, loans, loan repayment and scholarships to support the training of about 8,000 students and credentialed healthcare professionals by the end of fiscal year 2010, part of the $500 million allotted to HHS’ Health Resources and Services Administration under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

“Healthcare reform cannot happen without an adequate supply of well-trained, well-distributed providers,” Sebelius said in a statement. “These ARRA funds provide targeted investments in primary care, nursing, faculty development and equipment purchases that will shore up the workforce as we prepare for reform.”

Of the $200 million, $80.2 million will fund awards to students, professionals and faculty, with $39 million for nurses and nurse faculty and $41.2 million for students and faculty from disadvantaged backgrounds; $50 million will go to grants to training programs; $47.6 million will support training programs for primary care physicians; $10.5 million will strengthen the public health workforce; $10.2 million will go to diversity programs; and $1.5 million will support efforts of state professional licensing boards to support adoption of telemedicine.

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