Option I: Traditional SHARP
Alaska DHSS has now offered our SHARP-I, that is our traditional option, for the last three years. SHARP-I offers loan repayment for primary care clinicians working in federal HRSA health profession shortage areas, largely with underserved population. To date, a total of 74 clinicians have been admitted to program under the Option-I, serving across a range of primary care medical, behavioral health and dental occupations. As of February 2013, SHARP-I has afield strength of 67 clinicians. SHARP-I clinicians are continue to make a very solid contribution to healthcare for the underserved in Alaska. SHARP-I clinicians now serve in every region of our state.
Alaska DHSS plans to continue providing this opportunity to incoming clinicians in times ahead. Both the sites and their participating clinicians must provide comprehensive primary care, and must do so in federal designated primary care locations. Examples typically include community health centers, tribal health clinics, and often community mental health centers, with only modest in-hospital duties, if at all. SHARP-I clinicians have two-year service contracts with the opportunity to renew their contract on an annual basis thereafter. SHARP-I is jointly funded by 50% federal HRSA resources, and 50% from non-federal sources such as State-GF and the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority.
Currently, the application cycle for SHARP-I is now closed. Our next anticipated application-opening for SHARP-I will be next September (2013), dependent upon the next availability of HRSA grant funds.