Medical, Dental, and Behavioral Health Recruitment and Incentives

Medical, Dental, and Behavioral Health Recruitment and Incentives

Placement Services Team

The shortage of primary health care providers including Advanced Practice Providers in North Carolina is significant, particularly in the state’s rural and underserved areas. There is also a severe shortage of behavioral health providers and dental professionals who serve Medicaid, uninsured and low-income patients. In response to this shortage, the state has pioneered innovative approaches for placing health professionals in rural and underserved areas. One approach has been to utilize the knowledge and expertise of the Placement Services Team at the Office of Rural Health (ORH) for placing these health professionals. The Placement Services Team consists of three dynamic recruiters and a program manager. The recruiters are assigned to different regions across the state. The recruiters actively recruit medical, dental and behavioral health providers who can provide primary care in rural and underserved areas. This includes matching providers with open job opportunities.
Please visit the following link and click on Provider Recruitment and Placement for more information including: What We Do, Why Practice in Rural NC and Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) maps.

Practice Incentives

Another approach to North Carolina’s significant shortage of primary health care and behavioral health providers in rural and underserved areas is offering practice incentives for primary care providers. If you are a primary health care or behavioral health professional who is interested in providing health care to the state’s rural and underserved areas, please review the practice incentives listed below:

National Health Service Corps
The first layer of practice incentives is at the federal level. The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Loan Repayment Program (LRP) is administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Applicants who apply for the ORH’s practice incentives will be required to first apply to NHSC.

  • The NHSC LRP seeks primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives, physician assistants, dentists, dental hygienists, and behavioral/ mental health providers (psychiatrists, health service psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, psychiatric nurse specialists, and licensed professional counselors) to provide culturally competent, interdisciplinary primary health care services to underserved populations located in designated Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) identified by the Secretary of HHS. HPSAs can be found in rural and urban communities across the nation. In return, the NHSC LRP assists clinicians in their repayment of outstanding qualifying educational loans. In order for you to qualify for Loan Repayment Incentives, both you and the practice site must apply and be approved by the National Health Service Corps (NHSC).
  • NHSC offers up to $50,000 towards outstanding qualifying educational loans in exchange for a 2-year service commitment at approved NHSC sites with HPSA score of 14+ (with optional one-year extensions after the current NHSC LRP contract is completed).
  • NHSC offers up to $30,000 towards outstanding qualifying educational loans in exchange for a 2-year service commitment at approved NHSC sites at sites with HPSA scores of 13 or lower (with optional one-year extensions after the current NHSC LRP contract is completed).
  • NC ORH is designated as the state’s Primary Care Office (PCO); therefore, the Placement Services Team provides technical assistance for NHSC’s application process.

For more information including application cycles, visit the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) website.

Incentive Programs administered by ORH
The second layer of practice incentives is at the state level and administered by ORH. The incentive programs are modeled after NHSC. We direct all providers to first apply to the NHSC to access federal dollars.

1 - North Carolina Loan Repayment Program (NC LRP)
NC LRP offers qualifying providers repayment for student (educational) loans in exchange for providing comprehensive primary care services in eligible facilities serving those in rural and underserved communities with high needs.

  • Offers up to $100,000 (non-taxable) towards outstanding qualifying educational loans in exchange for an up to 4-year service commitment for physicians and dentists.
  • Offers up to $60,000 (non-taxable) towards outstanding qualifying educational loans in exchange for an up to 4-year service commitment for nurse practitioners including psychiatric, nurse midwives, physician assistants and dental hygienists.

Please review NC LRP Guidelines and a digital copy of the Application here: NC LRP Guidelines Link 
Only electronic applications will be accepted.  You can apply by using this link: Qualtrics NC LRP Application Link

2 - High Needs Service Bonus (HNSB)
HNSB offers qualifying providers without educational (student) loan debt taxable service bonuses in exchange for providing comprehensive primary care services in eligible facilities serving those in rural and underserved communities with high needs. 

  • Offers up to $50,000 (taxable) in exchange for an up to 4-year service commitment for physicians and dentists.
  • Offers up to $30,000 (taxable) in exchange for an up to 4-year service commitment for nurse practitioners including psychiatric, nurse midwives, physician assistants and dental hygienists.

Please review Guidelines and a digital copy of the HNSB application here: HNSB Guidelines Link 
Only electronic applications will be accepted and you can apply by using this link: Qualtrics HNSB Application Link

3 - State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP)
SLRP focuses on behavioral health providers who provide primary and psychiatric care to people in rural and underserved communities. The Office of Rural Health receives federal funds to administer this program. This program is different from the North Carolina Loan Repayment Program (NC LRP), though the names are similar.
The next SLRP anticipated application cycle will be in 2021.  Please review the Guidelines and more information located at the following webpage: Link to SLRP webpage

4 - J-1 Visa Waiver Program
The North Carolina Office of Rural Health is the interested government agency designated to implement the J-1 Visa Waiver provision for foreign medical graduates provided by Section 220 of Public Law 103-416.  ORH does not work directly with physician candidates to locate an eligible site.   J-1 Visa Waiver applications must come directly from the hiring entity, not the applicant, along with a signed contract.

  • The J-1 Visa Waiver program does not offer a financial incentive; however, it does offer an opportunity for foreign medical professionals to provide health care services in rural and underserved areas in North Carolina.

J-1 Visa Waiver Guidelines (Effective Date 6/25/2020)
J-1 Visa Waiver Program Profile

5 - National Interest Waiver (NIW) Program
An national interest waiver is for foreign physicians, who are seeking an exemption from the labor certification process and job offer requirement. The NIW application is to request an attestation letter from ORH.

  • The NIW program does not offer a financial incentive; however, it does offer an opportunity for foreign medical professionals to provide health care services in rural and underserved areas in North Carolina.
  • We do not provide the contact information to the communities, hospitals, or Health Professional Shortage Areas.

Please review the NIW guidelines and application here: National Interest Waiver Guidelines Document Link

Placement Services Team Contact

Recruiters are assigned by regions, please refer to the Placement Team’s Technical Assistance link below  to ask further questions or use the contact list below:
Technical Assistance Survey Link

Mailing Address:
North Carolina Placement Services Program
Office of Rural Health
2009 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699

Shawanda Fields, Placement Services Program Manager
919-527-6481
Shawanda.Fields@dhhs.nc.gov

Clint Cresawn, Recruiter
919-527-6496
Toll Free 1-800-533-8847
Clint.Cresawn@dhhs.nc.gov

Karen Gliarmis, Recruiter
919-527-6452
Karen.Gliarmis@dhhs.nc.gov

Maya Sanders, Recruiter
919-527-6476
Maya.Sanders@dhhs.nc.gov