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Beth BakerPosted by Beth Baker of the DPH Primary Care Office.

The Massachusetts Loan Repayment Program (MLRP) was implemented in 1990 and is administered by the Massachusetts Primary Care Office here at DPH. The program goal is to provide educational loan repayment as an incentive for health professionals to practice in communities where there are significant shortages of health care providers and other barriers to care.

In order to qualify for the MLRP, clinicians must be licensed in one of the thirteen qualifying disciplines; be currently employed (or have a contract to start working within the next 90 days) either full time or part time at a qualifying site; and have outstanding educational loans before submitting an MLRP application. MLRP participants must agree to practice full time (40 hours per week) for two years, or part time (at least 20 hours per week, pro-rated) for 4years at their contracted employment site. More information on each of these facets appears below.

Qualifying Disciplines

At this time the following disciplines qualify for the loan repayment through the MLRP:

  • General Practice Dentists (D.D.S. or D.M.D);
  • Registered Clinical Dental Hygienists;
  • Certified Nurse-Midwives;
  • Certified Nurse Practitioners;
  • Psychiatric Nurse Specialists;
  • Licensed Clinical or Counseling Psychologists;
  • Licensed Independent Clinical Social Workers;
  • Licensed Professional Counselors;
  • Marriage and Family Therapists;
  • Mental Health Counselors;
  • Primary Care or Psychiatric Primary Care Physician Assistants;
  • Doctors of Osteopathic (DOs) and Allopathic (MDs) Medicine.  

Qualifying Sites

You must also work at a site that has been designated as eligible to participate in the MLRP. Eligible sites are public or private non-profit, located in a federally designated Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA), and meet Massachusetts licensing requirements to provide services. There are three types of HPSA designations: mental health, dental, and primary medical care. Clinicians must practice at a qualifying site that is appropriate for their discipline (eg. dental providers work at dental HPSAs, mental health providers work at mental health HPSAs).

Outstanding Educational Loans

Educational loans that qualify for repayment through the MLRP are government or commercial loans for actual costs paid for tuition and reasonable educational and living expenses, related to an applicant’s health profession studies, and can be at the undergraduate and graduate level.  Participants can receive up to $50,000 in loan repayment.  Awards can not exceed the total student loan debt.

Once you have determined that you meet all of the requirements, please complete the MLRP application. Applications are reviewed and awards are made every fall. If there is additional funding, applications will be reviewed for a second time in the spring.

If you have any questions about the loan repayment program, please contact Beth Baker at beth.baker@state.ma.us or 617-624-6049. In the meantime, keep up with the latest happenings with the MLRP on Facebook, and on the MDPH Primary Care Office Home Page.

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