Post Content

PattyKilloranAlexisDonnarummaPosted by Patty Killoran (left) and Alexis Donnaruma, interns in the Primary Care Office at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health

This is another in a series of profiles of health care professionals who have benefited from the Massachusetts Loan Repayment Program (MLRP). The MLRP works to increase access to comprehensive primary care in underserved areas, by providing up to $50,000 towards outstanding educational loans for health professionals who commit to work at an eligible health care organization for two full-time years.      

Today we are profiling Julie Bean, a nurse practitioner (NP) at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution in Framingham (MCIF), the oldest currently operating female correctional institution in Massachusetts.

Together with the other clinicians at MCIF, Julie is responsible for the health care of 600 incarcerated women. Julie is a primary care provider in the ambulatory care clinic at MCIF, where she provides primary care services, treats chronic conditions, and responds to acute and urgent illnesses.

It’s all in a day’s work for Julie and her team. “In the clinic,” she says, “we provide annual physicals, breast and pelvic exams, as well as recurring physical exams and follow-up visits related to chronic issues such as HCV, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, or HIV.” In addition to providing routine screenings and disease management, Julie also shares an obstetrician (OB) position with another nurse practitioner.

One challenge – and opportunity – which Julie faces working at a correctional facility is her patients’ lack of medical care prior to incarceration. Most of these patients did not have a primary care provider and so didn’t receive recommended screenings or preventive treatments. Many suffer from a multitude of diseases and co-morbidities. “We are able to really start ‘fresh’ with these women,” Julie told us, “and have the opportunity to provide not only excellent medical care, but also a great deal of health education.”

Although she had never worked with an underserved population prior to her time at MCIF, Julie has enjoyed the past two and a half years at the facility. ”My colleagues help to make what can be difficult work rewarding,” she said.” It’s really a blessing to work with providers who are committed to serving underserved women in this type of setting.”

Julie learned of the Massachusetts Loan Repayment Program from another Nurse Practitioner at MCIF, who encouraged Julie to investigate whether she might be eligible. Julie determined that her profession and work site qualified for the MLRP, so she decided to apply —and she hasn’t looked back.

Participation in the loan repayment program has allowed Julie to concentrate on her patients and their unmet health needs. In addition, she no longer has to worry about her student loan debt. As Julie tells us, “the Massachusetts Loan Repayment Program has given me a sigh of relief.”

For more information on the Massachusetts Loan Repayment Program, visit our website or the MLRP Facebook page. If you’re interested in applying, please fill out an application.

Written By:


health communication writer and editor

Recent Posts

Million Hearts — Working to Prevent Heart Attack and Stroke posted on Oct 20

Million Hearts — Working to Prevent Heart Attack and Stroke

Heart attack and stroke contribute to the 800,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease every year in the U.S. The burden to families and communities is devastating, and medical costs and lost productivity total nearly $1 billion per day. To address this crisis, the United States Department   …Continue Reading Million Hearts — Working to Prevent Heart Attack and Stroke

Poison Prevention! posted on Oct 14

Poison Prevention!

Children are naturally curious. They are bound to explore and wander around the house as they play and learn. It is important to know that sometimes children can become exposed to dangers in the home without being aware of what they are doing. Each year,   …Continue Reading Poison Prevention!

Highlights of the October 8th Public Health Council Meeting posted on Oct 9

This month’s meeting of the Public Health Council featured deliberations on two pending proposed amendments to existing regulations, and a pair of informational presentations for Council members on current Department initiatives and activities. First, Associate Commissioner Suzanne Condon provided an update on public comments received on a series of   …Continue Reading Highlights of the October 8th Public Health Council Meeting