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Designating Broome As Mental Health Professional Shortage Area

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

The Department of Health and Human Services has approved the Broome County Mental Health Department’s application to be designated as a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) for mental health professionals.

This designation will allow for clinicians to receive loan reimbursement and other privileges and incentives to practice in the area. Broome County has a ratio of 20,399 individuals to one practicing psychiatrist. To be considered for HPSA designation, an area must exceed a practitioner ratio of 10,000:1.

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“This will help us in our ability to recruit needed mental health staff to serve in our community,” said Mental Health Commissioner Arthur Johnson.

Throughout the country the Health and Human Services Department has 3,059 Mental Health HPSAs, which encompasses 77 million people. The department has established 5,145 mental health providers would be needed to appropriately service this population.

HPSA status provides several benefits to clinicians who become employed within a designated area. Providers can receive a tax free lump sum up to $50,000 in compensation for school loans. Accredited health care professionals who are not a citizen of the United States can receive waiver of the two-year foreign residency requirement.