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Oklahoma Health Corps Loan Repayment Program

The Oklahoma Health Corps (OK Health Corps) offers loan repayment assistance to health care providers serving facilities located in Oklahoma's health professional shortage areas. Awards of up to $35K or $50K, depending on type of clinician, will be offered in exchange for a two-year service commitment. The program is made possible by a federal grant from the Bureau of Health Workforce, division of National Health Service Corps.

Clinicians currently employed by facilities that have been certified as National Health Service Corps sites are encouraged to apply. Eligibility requirements have been developed in coordination with the Oklahoma Health Workforce Training Commission (HWTC) and the OSDH Dental Loan Repayment Program (ODLR) to ensure that the program does not duplicate Oklahoma’s other health professional student loan repayment programs.

Oklahoma Health Corps Provider Application

  • Psychiatrists (DO or MD) may receive up to $50.000 in exchange for a two (2) year service obligation.
  • Physician assistants, nurse practitioners practicing in eligible specialties, certified nurse midwives, psychiatric nurse specialists, registered nurses, pharmacists, and eligible mental health clinicians may receive up to $35,000 in exchange for two (2) years of full-time service obligation.
  • Award amounts will not exceed participant’s outstanding qualified educational loan balances.

  • Funded applicants will sign contracts with the State Department of Oklahoma committing to:
  • Serving a two (2) year full-time service obligation at an approved OK Health Corps work site.
  • Full-time service is defined at a minimum of forty (40) hours per week for a minimum of forty-five (45) weeks per service year. At least thirty-two hours for full time service must be spent providing face-to-face direct patient services during normally scheduled office hours.
  • If working in a HRSA-funded Teaching Health Center, teaching activities performed by participants in the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education program authorized under 42 U.S.C. § 256h, can include up to twenty (20) hours per week for full-time participants.
  • See the OKHC Program Guidance for additional information.

  • Eligible Disciplines
    • Certified Nurse Midwife
    • Clinical Psychologist
    • Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor
    • Licensed Behavioral Practitioner
    • Licensed Clinical Social Worker
    • Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
    • Licensed Professional Counselor
    • Nurse Practitioner
    • Pharmacist (In Behavioral Health Settings)
    • Physician Assistant (Urban Only)
    • Psychiatrist (DO or MD)
    • Registered Nurse (In Behavioral Health Settings)
  • In order to be eligible to participate in OK Health Corps, all applicants:
    • Must possess an active, permanent, and valid license to practice an eligible healthcare profession in the State of Oklahoma. Provisional (Under Supervision) and temporary licensed healthcare professionals are not eligible to participate in OK Health Corps.
    • Must NOT have an outstanding contractual obligation for health professional service to the Federal Government, to a state, or another entity unless the service obligation will be completely satisfied before the OK Health Corps contract is finalized. This includes those whose employment contracts contain provisions creating a service obligation such as a recruitment bonus in return for agreement to practice at the facility for a specified period of time or return the bonus.
    • OK Health Corps does not consider the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program a service obligation, and therefore OK Health Corps participants are eligible to concurrently participate in the PSLF program.
    • Those in the Reserve Component of the U.S. Armed Forces or National Guard are eligible to participate in OK Health Corps. In the event the participant’s military training and/or service, in combination with other absences from the service site, exceed thirty- five (35) work days per service year, the OK Health Corps contract and service obligation will be extended to compensate for the break in service.
    • Those with Primary Care Loans through the Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Bureau of Health Professions are NOT eligible to participate in OK Health Corps.
    • Must NOT have:
      • Any federal judgment liens
      • A default on any federal payment obligations (e.g., Health Education Assistance Loans, Nursing Student Loans, federal income tax liabilities, Federal Housing Authority loans, etc.) even if the creditor now considers them to be in good standing;
      • Breached a prior service obligation to the federal/state/local government or other entity, even if the obligation was subsequently satisfied.
      • Had any federal or non-federal debt written off as uncollectible or received a waiver of any federal service or payment obligation.
    • Must work in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) designation appropriate for the applicant’s discipline: primary care HPSA for primary care disciplines; dental HPSA for dentists and registered dental hygienists; and mental health HPSA for behavioral health disciplines.
    • Must be employed and have started providing primary care, dental, or mental health services at an approved practice site prior to applying for OK Health Corps.
    • Must agree to apply one hundred percent (100%) of OK Health Corps to qualifying educational loans.
    • Must complete and submit the approved OK Health Corps application and all required supporting documentation during the application timeframe.
  • See OKHC Program Guidance for more details.

In order to be eligible to participate as a practice site in OK Health Corps, all healthcare facilities must:

  1. Be approved as a National Health Service Corps (NHSC) certified site prior to any current OK Health Corps participant beginning their service commitment or be contracted with the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services to provide outpatient behavioral health services.
  2. Be located in a federally designated Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) or be assigned a facility score by the Bureau of Primary Health Care.
    • Complete a Site Agreement (Sample Site Agreement can be found in Appendix B) with the Oklahoma State Department of Health’s Office of Primary Care. Upon completion, an automated email will be sent to the POC with a Welcome Packet that includes everything the POC will need to administer their responsibilities as the practice site POC and to advertise OK Health Corps to their provider staff.
  3. Facilities contracted with ODMHSAS but not certified by NHSC are considered as conditional eligibility and must apply for National Health Service Corps Certification during the first year of participation with OK Health Corps.

If providers are unsure if their employer is eligible to be a work site for OK Health Corps, the PCO recommends:

  • Ask an administrator at your facility if your facility is certified by the National Health Service Corps.
  • Ask an administrator at your facility if the organization has a contract with ODMHSAS.
  • Ask an administrator at your facility if your facility has a Site Agreement with the Primary Care Office.
  • Share this link with them Oklahoma Health Corps Site Agreement
  • Check to see if a site is currently NHSC site

No, funded applicants will sign contracts with the Oklahoma State Department of Health committing to serving a two (2) year full-time (40 hours per week for 45 weeks per year) service obligation at an approved OK Health Corps Practice Site.

Click here to begin an Oklahoma Health Corps Provider Application.  The Primary Care Office has summarized all the required information and documentation for the application in the OK Health Corps Application Checklist.

To be eligible for OK Health Corps, applicants must:

  • Be in good standing with all education debt lenders and the federal government,
  • Be employed by an eligible work site located in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA),
  • NOT have an outstanding contractual obligation for health professional service to the federal or any state government, or any other entity, and
  • Hold a current, full, permanent, unencumbered, unrestricted health professional license, certificate, or registration in a one of the following disciplines.
    • Certified Nurse Midwife
    • Clinical Psychologist
    • Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor
    • Licensed Behavioral Practitioner
    • Licensed Clinical Social Worker
    • Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
    • Licensed Professional Counselor
    • Nurse Practitioner 
    • Pharmacist (In Behavioral Health Settings)
    • Physician Assistant (Urban Only) 
    • Psychiatrist
    • Registered Nurse (In Behavioral Health Settings)

For more details reference the Participant Eligibility section of the OKHC Program Guidance.

Oklahoma residency is not a requirement of OK Health Corps.

Clinicians under supervision for their clinical license do not qualify for OK Health Corps. Applicants must have a full and permanent, unencumbered, unrestricted, health professional license in the State of Oklahoma.

Supervision responsibilities are considered administrative duties. For more details reference the Service Obligation Requirements section of the OKHC Program Guidance.

Yes, clinical services delivered virtually count toward the 32 clinical hours, administrative tasks performed virtually count toward administrative hours. For more details reference the Service Obligation Requirements section of the OKHC Program Guidance.

Yes, you may submit an application to NHSC and OK Health Corps during the same year. However, should both applications be funded you must select only one program to participate.

In the event a provider signs a service obligation contract with OK Health Corps and with one of the NHSC LRPs, the provider will be in breach of both contracts.

The Primary Care Office does not typically conduct direct recruitment of providers. However, we provide employment resources that can help facilitate a provider’s job search in Oklahoma.  The following employment resources may help find eligible sites for loan repayment:

  • Ask an administrator at your facility if:
    • Your facility is certified by the National Health Service Corps.
    • Your organization has a contract with ODMHSAS.
    • Your facility has a Site Agreement with the Primary Care Office.
  • Share this website with an administrator at your site.
  • For more detail, reference the Eligible Work Sites section of the OKHC Program Guidance.

  • Psychiatrist (DO or MD) may receive up to $50.000 in exchange for a two (2) year service obligation.
  • Physician assistants, nurse practitioners practicing in eligible specialties, certified nurse midwives, psychiatric nurse specialists, registered nurses, pharmacists, and eligible mental health clinicians may receive up to $35,000 in exchange for two (2) years of full-time service obligation.
  • Award amounts will not exceed participant’s outstanding qualified educational loan balances.

Please reference the Eligibility of Educational Debts section of the OKHC Program Guidance.

Consolidated loans may be considered for repayment as long as they only include qualifying educational loans. For further details, reference the Eligibility of Educational Debts section of the OKHC Program Guidance.

Health Professional Shortage Areas are federally designated areas that are experiencing a shortage of health care professionals. Learn more at What is a Shortage Designation?

Conduct a search at HPSA Search by Address or reference the Current Oklahoma HPSA Maps.

The dates of two-year full-time service obligation will begin approximately 90 days from the closing of the application.

Email us at OKHealthCorps@health.ok.gov as you may qualify for an addendum to your contract. However, should you breach your contract you will have a $7,500.00 monthly fee for the number of obligated months you did not serve. For more details reference the contract you signed and the Breach of Service Obligation section of the OKHC Program Guidance.

No. No prior employment time will count toward an awardees service obligation.

No, for this hypothetical funded application the total award would be $20,000.

Invoices and related documentation are due by the 10th of each month for the previous month, i.e. January’s invoice is due on February 10th. The State of Oklahoma Central Purchasing Act standard is that payments will be issued within 45 days of receiving a valid invoice.

A service obligation, often called a service commitment, or employment obligation is a contractual agreement requiring the provider to maintain employment at a specific facility for a given amount of time. In this case, in exchange for the monetary award.

The Office of Primary Care was awarded The State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) grant via from the Bureau of Health Workforce (BHW) in the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). For additional details reference the Description of Program section this website.

Email OKHealthCorps@health.ok.gov to receive a list of other approved practice sites in your area.

You could qualify after your current service obligation ends. Email OKHealthCorps@health.ok.gov with more details about your current obligation to receive more information.


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