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May 21, 2024

New state student loan relief program targets healthcare worker shortage

MARK PAZNIOKAS / CTMIRROR.ORG Gov. Ned Lamont talking to reporters.

The state of Connecticut is putting some money where its mouth is in an effort to address the shortage of healthcare workers.

Called the Connecticut Student Loan Repayment Program, the initiative offers up to $50,000 in student loan repayments to eligible healthcare providers who commit to practicing full-time in underserved communities in the state for at least two years. Those working part-time are eligible for $12,500 per year over two years, for a total of $25,000.

The program allows for both federal and private student loan debt to be repaid.

The state will use $11.6 million from the federal American Rescue Plan Act to fund the program, and has applied for an additional $2 million from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration.

The program will be overseen by the state Department of Public Health and administered by the Connecticut Area Health Education Center, which is located at the UConn Health Center and works statewide to improve access to basic health care.

“Our administration is committed to ensuring that every resident of Connecticut has access to quality health care, regardless of their zip code,” Gov. Ned Lamont said. “This program is a significant investment in our healthcare workforce and a step towards reducing health disparities across our state.”

He said the program recognizes that not all providers can commit to full-time work, “so we’re offering flexible options to attract a wider range of talent to our underserved communities.”

The Connecticut Hospital Association (CHA) said the program demonstrates the state’s commitment to growing and retaining healthcare workers here.

“Workforce shortages, which come in the wake of pandemic related-demands and as the workforce ages to retirement, are felt across the entire continuum of care,” the CHA said,  “This program is another important step to invest in the healthcare workforce and attract and retain talent in all communities.”

Healthcare workers eligible to participate in the program include:

  • Medical doctors and doctors of osteopathic medicine in family practice, general practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, and OB/GYN.
  • Registered nurses (RNs) and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), including certified nurse midwives, nurse practitioners, and psychiatric nurse specialists. 
  • Physician assistants (PAs).
  • Dentists and dental hygienists.
  • Psychiatrists, psychologists, and core behavioral health providers, including licensed clinical social workers, licensed marriage and family therapists, licensed professional counselors, and substance use disorder counselors.
  • Pharmacists.

Applications will be accepted beginning May 22. For application information, visit

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