IDPH’S Center for Rural Health launches UPW program, loan repayment grant opportunity

ICAHN hospitals are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the Illinois Department of Public Health's new physician and surgeon loan repayment opportunity!

The new Underserved Physician Workforce (UPW) loan repayment database is now live and can accept site registrations as the first step to participation (like the State Loan Repayment Program database). As soon as your site registers your organization and IDPH approves it, the site and provider will complete applications. Please see the UPW page for more details:

This page is also where sites will see a site registration link at the bottom of the page to complete the registration process in UPW. Eligible participant specialties are family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, emergency department physicians and general surgeons who are U.S. citizens, working for a non-profit facility in a health professional shortage area in Illinois. IDPH anticipates awarding 20 grants by the end of June and another 20 beginning July 1 for the new fiscal year.

The UPW program’s goal is to assist communities in recruiting physicians willing to practice full or half-time in federal Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs). Program funds are used to repay up to $50,000 of the education loans of eligible physicians who agree to serve full or half-time in a federally designated HPSA in Illinois, without regard for the patient’s ability to pay.

“Physicians may work less than full-time, but a minimum half-time, if they agree to double their obligation period,” said Casper. “The minimum grant for a full-time physician is two years. Half-time physicians will work a minimum obligation of four years in a HPSA.”

Application requirements include:

  • Licensure in Illinois as a physician (residency trained or board eligible osteopathic or allopathic physicians trained in the aforementioned areas, or expect to be licensed in Illinois and who is willing to practice at public or nonprofit entities providing healthcare services in a federally designated HPSA in Illinois
  • Sign a contract with the Illinois Department of Public Health guaranteeing their minimum commitment of two years of service in a HPSA
  • Be indebted to a governmental or commercial lending institution for educational expenses incurred in pursuit of the applicant’s degrees or diploma
  • Be a U.S. citizen