The Hawaii State Loan Repayment Program

The Hawaii State Loan Repayment Program (HSLRP) is a federal grant to pay off educational loans for primary care and behavioral health providers who care for patients at non-profit organizations in designated Health Professional Shortage Areas of Hawaii.  It is designed to incentivize care in the areas of Hawaii where it is most needed.

Download HSLRP Application

Who’s Eligible?*

Providers to be considered for Hawaii State Loan Repayment Program include the following:

SLRP participants must have completed training in an accredited graduate training program in, and possess an active and valid license (without restrictions or encumbrances) to practice in one of the following eligible disciplines:

  • *MD: Allopathic Medicine
  • *DO: Osteopathic Medicine
  • *NP: Nurse Practitioner
  • *PA: Physician Assistant
  • *HSP: Health Service Psychologist (Clinical and Counseling)
  • LCSW: Licensed Clinical Social Worker
  • PNS: Psychiatric Nurse Specialist
  • LPC: Licensed Professional Counselor
  • MFT: Marriage and Family Therapist
  • RN: Registered Nurse
  • Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselors licensed/credentialed/certified by their state of practice that meet educational requirements and master’s degree requirement

*Matching state funding provided. Please call (808) 692-1060 for clarification.

Approved Primary Care Specialties for Physicians:

  • Family Medicine (and osteopathic general practice)
  • Internal Medicine
  • Pediatrics
  • Obstetrics/Gynecology
  • Geriatrics
  • Psychiatry

General Practitioners (physicians who have not completed residency training programs) are not eligible for funding under SLRP.

Approved Primary Care Specialties for Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants:

  • Adult
  • Family
  • Pediatrics
  • Psychiatry/mental health
  • Geriatrics
  • Women’s health

Practice Site Eligibility

All HiSLRP sites are required to be public or nonprofit private entities located in and providing health services in HPSAs that see all patients regardless of their ability to pay, accept Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, charge for their professional services at the usual and customary prevailing rates in the area in which such services are provided, except that if a person is unable to pay such charge, such person shall be charged at a reduced rate or not charged any fee. In the Hawaii State Loan Repayment Program, the following list of organizations are an example of those eligible for National Health Scholarship Loan Repayment program and are located in HPSAs are eligible.

Site types that will be supported by the program include:

Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs)

  • Community Health Centers
  • Migrant Health Centers
  • Homeless Programs
  • Public Housing Programs

FQHC Look-Alikes

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Certified Rural Health Clinics                                                                                                                                                                     Community Outpatient Facilities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Community Mental Health Facilities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         State and County Health Department Clinics                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Immigration and Customs Enforcement Health Service Corps                                                                                                                                                                                                     Free Clinics                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Mobile Units                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        School-based Programs                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Critical Access Hospitals affiliated with a qualified outpatient clinic                                                                                                                                                                                    Long-term Care Facilities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       State Mental Health Facilities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Tribally-Operated 638 Health Programs                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Correction or Detention Facilities (federal and state)                                                                                                                                                                                                            Private Practices (solo or group) that are in HPSAs and meet criteria

Criteria for HiSLRP sites:

  1. Public and non-profit private entities located in and providing health care services in HPSAs.
  2. HPSA status will be confirmed by site or census track identified on hpsafind.hrsa.gov at time of application cycle closure.
  3. HPSA type must correspond with healthcare provider type.
  4. All sites must charge for professional services at the usual and customary prevailing rates.
  5. Each site provides discounts for individuals with limited incomes (i.e., use a sliding fee scale). And provide care at no charge for those with annual incomes at or below 100 percent of the HHS Poverty Guidelines- sites must ensure that practice sites provide services at no charge or at a nominal charge. For individuals between 100 and 200 percent of the HHS Poverty Guidelines, practice sites will provide a schedule of discounts, which should reflect a nominal charge coverage from a third party (either public or private) and may charge for services to the extent that payment will be made by the third party.

A 2 year commitment of service at HSLRP sites is required. HSLRP sites are public or non-profit private entities located in and providing health services in health professional shortage areas, known as HPSA’s. HPSA’s are defined by the federal government as having shortages of primary medical care, or mental health providers and may be geographic, demographic or institutional.  These areas include federally-qualified health centers, rural health clinics, critical access hospitals, long-term care facilities, community outpatient facilities, free clinics, school based health clinics, state or federal correctional facilities and solo or group practices.

To learn more about HPSA’s, visit: http://hpsafind.hrsa.gov/

HSLRP sites or other donors will have to provide matching funds equal to half of the award. Please see the application for more details.  We rely on community partners and residents to make this program possible.  If you would like to help, please click the button below.

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Kelley Withy, Director, Hawaii State Loan Repayment Program: withy@hawaii.edu

Testimonials

Once I had finished residency, I had many worries as a newly practicing physician. Had residency prepared me enough for the real world of medicine? Should I move to the mainland to be closer to friends and family? Or should stay in Hawaii, since it had become my home for the past 3 years? But, the biggest worry was…How am I going to pay back my student loans? It was like a giant gorilla on my back. I took a chance and decided to stay at Waikiki Health because I had virtually grown up in that clinic; both as a physician and as a person. I couldn’t think of anywhere else I wanted to work. It was a difficult decision for me because I missed my friends and family. I was not able to see them as often as I wanted. The other difficulty, was financial difficulty. It is expensive to live in Hawaii, even for someone like me who is unmarried and without kids.

Not too long after I had started practicing, my chief executive officer pulled me aside one day. She let me know about a state loan repayment program that was just about to start up. I had already applied for the National Health Services Corp loan repayment program and had been rejected because our clinic at that time was judged to be not in a high enough need area. I cannot stress how worried when I got the rejection notice. I racked my brain trying to think of ways to save extra money so I can pay back my almost $300,000 in loans. So I applied for the SLRP, with no hope of qualifying. But, luckily I was able to qualify. It has truly made all the difference. I have no doubt that because of the burden of student loans, I would have been forced to move to a less expensive city/state in a year or two.

What the SLRP allowed me to do was to live my life where I wanted, and to work where I wanted. That is something priceless. I know that there are many young physicians and providers that are in the same exact position I was just a couple of years ago. I hope that the SLRP continues so that they can have the same opportunity that I received. To live and work where they want to, not where they have to.

SLRP Recipient