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Workforce Development

The Office of Primary Care/Rural Health administers several programs which are designed to increase the availability of primary care clinicians practicing in underserved areas through the use of incentives such as loan repayment. The Office assists the federal government in the administering its workforce initiative for underserved areas . The Office also maintains a medically underserved index which is used to determine Primary Care Practitioner Loan Redemption Program placements.


J-1 Visa Waiver/Conrad State 30 Program

In an effort to address the chronic shortages of primary care and mental health clinicians in selected communities nationwide, the U.S. Congress established a program which extends the stay of foreign clinicians who originally came to the United States through a J-1 Exchange Visa. Under a J-1 Visa Waiver, clinicians are allowed to remain in the United States provided they agree to practice in an underserved area designated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Conrad State 30 Program is the State sponsored structure for administration of the federally-authorized J-1 Visa Waiver Program. Office of Primary Care staff review J-1 Visa Waiver applications to determine their compliance with established criteria. More...

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Primary Care Loan Redemption Program of New Jersey
Since 1992, the Primary Care Practitioner Loan Redemption Program (LRP) of New Jersey, which is housed within the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority and is administered by the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, has focused on easing the shortage or increasing the availability of primary care clinicians practicing in State designated underserved areas as defined by the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services. Eligible Primary Care clinicians include: physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and certified nurse midwives specializing in Family Practice, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics, General Dentistry and Pedodontics. Approved applicants can redeem up to $120,000 over a four - year period (in exchange for full time service) on loans used to finance their medical/dental/professional education. The Office of Primary Care and Rural Health staff review LRP applications and make recommendations to the program for approval or denial. More...

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National Health Service Corps  

The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) is similar to the state’s Loan Redemption Program in its intent; however, NHSC is a federal initiative. Under the NHSC Scholarship Program participants are selected on a competitive basis to provide primary care in communities of greatest need. NHSC Scholars, physicians or mid-level practitioners, serve in communities designated by the federal government as health professional shortage areas. In exchange for service in these communities, tuition, fees and other reasonable expenses are paid by the federal government. Under the NHSC Loan Repayment Program, participants have their outstanding medical or nursing school loans repaid up to a certain amount in exchange for two years of service in a designated health professional shortage area. Office of Primary Care/Rural Health staff make recommendations on applications for placement in New Jersey and assist in the process of health professional shortage area designation and re-designation.

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Provider Shortage Areas

The State of New Jersey has developed its own index of medical scarcity. This index is independent of federal determinations of primary care need. The State of New Jersey designates as underserved communities with the poorest health status and economic indicators. Determinations of under service rankings according to severity are made by the staff of the Office of Primary Care/Rural Health and are ultimately approved by the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services. In turn, State-designated areas of medical need are used to place primary care physicians, dentists, certified nurse midwives and physician assistants participating in New Jersey’s Primary Care Practitioner Loan Redemption Program. Office of Primary Care/Rural Health staff annually updates New Jersey’s Medically Underserved Index.

Federal Data
Public Notice: Medically Underserved Index

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Department of Health

P. O. Box 360, Trenton, NJ 08625-0360
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Last Modified: Thursday, 16-Feb-12 16:40:12