The mission of the Oklahoma Health Care Workforce Training Commission is to increase access to health care workers in the rural and underserved areas of Oklahoma.
INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES
HWTC, as developed under the provisions of the Oklahoma State Statutes, became fully functional as of November 1, 1975. HWTC was originally charged by the legislature to administer three programs:
- The Oklahoma Rural Medical Education Scholarship Loan Program (sunset program December 2016)
- The Oklahoma Community Physician Education Scholarship Loan Program (which is no longer in existence) and
- The Oklahoma Intern-Resident Cost-Sharing Program
Through the Oklahoma Intern-Resident cost-sharing program, HWTC provides a portion of the salaries of primary care interns and residents so additional internship and residency positions may be developed by the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine-Tulsa and the Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Subsequently the Oklahoma Legislature has added the responsibility of a Physician Placement Program, Nursing Student Assistance Program, the FP Resident Rural Program, the Physician Community Match Program and the Physician Assistant Scholarship Program, and Physician and Physician Assistant Loan Repayment.
The Commission is guided in all the programs by a sense of stewardship which requires that maximum effort, both individual and organizational, be utilized to increase the number of practicing physicians, nurses/nurse practitioners, and physician assistants in Oklahoma and, particularly, in rural and underserved areas of the state.
HWTC has developed, in accord with legislative intent, five high priority goals:
- Work to improve the balance of physician manpower distribution in the State of Oklahoma, both by type of practice and by geographic location;
- Aid accredited physician training facilities in the establishment of additional primary medical care and family practice internship and residency training program positions by sharing in the cost of these programs;
- Assist Oklahoma communities in selecting and financing qualified medical and osteopathic interns/residents, and physicians to participate in the Physician Loan Repayment and Physician Community Match Programs;
- Assist Oklahoma communities, in any manner possible, in contacting medical and osteopathic students, interns and residents, or other physicians (inside and outside Oklahoma) who might wish to practice in Oklahoma;
- Work with Oklahoma communities and the leadership of Oklahoma's nurse training institutions to provide nurses for underserved areas of the state and expand the training capacity of the programs.