Several programs to assist health care workers in the form of PA’s Health Care Heroes program and loan forgiveness by PHEAA were announced in a newsletter by PA State Representative Rob Kauffman.
Rob Kauffman represents the 89th Legislative District with of portions of FRANKLIN county, including the TOWNSHIPS of Greene, Guilford, Lurgan and Southampton and the BOROUGHS of Chambersburg, Orrstown and Shippensburg.
New Funding on the Way
“Recognizing the sacrifices our health care workers have been making each and every day throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, I joined my House and Senate colleagues in advancing legislation calling for a $250 million infusion of funding to help,” said Kauffman.
The first part of a two-bill package includes $210 million for hospitals and behavioral health care providers to provide recruitment and retention payments to nurses and other employees involved in direct patient care activities, environmental services or clinical care services. Specifically, $100 million is directed to all hospitals while $110 million goes to critical access hospitals, high Medicaid-use facilities and behavioral health providers.
The following Franklin County facilities are receiving funding:
• Chambersburg Hospital – $893,970.
• Roxbury Treatment Center – $315,412.
• Waynesboro Hospital – $162,278.
House Bill 253, which passed both chambers last week and was signed into law by the governor, also provides $15 million in funding for the nurse student loan forgiveness through the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency.
The second part of the two-bill package will provide $25 million in funding to fire and emergency medical services providers. That measure is expected to be considered this month.
Student Loan Relief Program for Nurses Accepting Applications
The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) is accepting applications for the Student Loan Relief for Nurses program. The deadline to apply is March 1.
Eligible applicants must be licensed through the PA Department of State, including Registered Nurses (RNs) and Practical Nurses (LPNs); have worked in-person at a qualifying nursing facility; and have begun employment prior to Dec. 31, 2021. Applicants must also be certified by their employers.
Details about the program and how to apply are available here.