SECTION 1. Chapter 6A of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2020 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding the following after Section 16CC
Section 16DD (a) There shall be established a primary care workforce development and loan forgiveness grant program at community health centers for the purpose of enhancing recruitment and retention of primary care physicians, other clinicians, bachelor’s degree-level mental health and primary care professionals including, but not limited to, community health workers, recovery coaches and family partners, as well as all other non-clinician staff at community health centers throughout the Commonwealth. Priority shall be given to clinicians and bachelor’s degree-level mental health and primary care professionals. The grant program shall be administered by the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, provided, that the office may contract with an organization to administer the grant program. This program shall ensure the continuation of state-level loan repayment for clinicians at community health centers including but not limited to those programs established by Chapter 102 of the acts of 2021, reserve 1599-2026.
(b) the program shall prioritize the recruitment and retention of a culturally, ethnically and linguistically diverse workforce; provided further, that to be eligible for loan repayment assistance under this item, an individual shall: (a) work in a community health center (i) have outstanding educational debt; (ii) not participate in any other loan repayment program; and (iii) be required to enter into a contract with the commonwealth for not less than 4 years; provided further, that the amounts of assistance per individual shall be pro-rated for individuals working on a part-time basis; provided further, that the executive office shall promulgate regulations for the administration and enforcement of the loan repayment assistance program under this item which shall include penalties and repayment procedures if a participating individual fails to comply with the program requirements;
(c) The program shall be funded through expenditures from the Behavioral Health and Community-Based Primary Care Reserve established in section 2a of chapter 102 of the Acts of 2021.
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