PA Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Details Available Loan Repayment Funding

Jen Smith, Secretary Department of Drug and Alcohol ProgramsJen Smith, Secretary Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (Credit: Commonwealth Media Services)

YORK, PA — The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) visited WellSpan Health START (Specialized Treatment and Recovery Team) Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic on Tuesday to highlight the $10 million available through the substance use disorder (SUD) loan repayment program.

“We must ensure that all individuals living with a substance use disorder are able to receive quality care in their communities,” said Secretary Jen Smith. “By removing some of the burden of debt associated with the cost of education, we are incentivizing professionals to remain in the substance use disorder treatment field and help Pennsylvanians who need it most.”

This program is aimed toward aiding SUD treatment and Single County Authority (SCA)-funded case management professionals with repaying their outstanding qualifying educational loans. High rates of turnover and shortages of health care professionals have placed increased pressure on employee recruitment and retention, as well as access to care for Pennsylvania residents seeking SUD treatment and support. Through this SUD loan repayment program, DDAP will provide loan repayment opportunities as an incentive to retain SUD practitioners willing to continue providing services within the commonwealth.

“We know our friends and neighbors are struggling with addiction, and importantly, we know that treatment works,” said Dr. Mitchell Crawford, Director of Addiction Services at WellSpan Health. “The support from the Substance Use Disorder Loan Repayment Program will help improve access to that needed treatment by keeping our talented colleagues engaged in this work, and this will save lives.”

Applications must be submitted via the online application portal by May 26, 2022. Eligible practitioners must currently provide SUD treatment or SCA-funded case management services at approved practice site(s) and meet the requirements in Section 6 of the Project Summary. Selected candidates must demonstrate a minimum of two prior years of experience in the SUD field as well as agree to a service commitment of two additional years.

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Grant agreements will be awarded based on the availability of funding. Practitioners can apply for an amount up to $100,000, contingent on occupation and work experience. Award amounts and number of awards will depend upon the number of applications received meeting the criteria of this Grant Initiative Funding Application (GIFA), amount of grant assistance being requested, and the amount of available grant assistance to be awarded.

This funding opportunity is made possible from the Opioid Settlement Fund (McKinsey) and Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Program Fund.

For more information, visit the Funding Opportunities page on the DDAP website.

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