Alaska Healthcare Links

This information on loan repayment is from Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Public Health:

SHARP-II: New Opportunities for Healthcare Practitioner Loan Repayment & Direct Incentive

Overview:  The purpose of SHARP is to address the worsening shortage of certain health professionals in the state by increasing the number and improving the distribution of healthcare professionals who provide direct patient care.  The SHARP program seeks to recruit and retain selected health care professionals to serve in designated healthcare shortage areas in exchange for the repayment of qualifying education loans and/or payment of direct incentive.  This support-for-service is provided to help ensure that residents throughout the state, including recipients of medical assistance and Medicare, have access to healthcare and that residents of rural areas of the state, in particular, experience improved access to healthcare services.  Participating clinicians & sites must sign a 2 or 3 year support-for-service contract (MOA) with the State of Alaska.  SHARP is operated by the State of Alaska, Department of Health and Social Services, and receives funds from several sources including the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, the State of Alaska’s General Fund, the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services, and employer-provided matching-funds.  SHARP clinicians serve in every region of Alaska.  To date, there have been two main options, SHARP-I and SHARP-II.

 

SHARP-I is our traditional option, now in its 3rd year.  It offers loan repayment for primary care clinicians working in federal HRSA health profession shortage areas (HPSA’s), largely with underserved population. To date, 74 clinicians have been admitted to program under SHARP-I, serving across a range of primary care medical, behavioral health and dental occupations. Both the sites and their participating clinicians must provide comprehensive primary care, hold 2-year service-contracts, and must do so in federal designated primary care locations.  Typical examples include community health centers, tribal health clinics, and 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.

 

SHARP-II was established through the passage of HB-78 in Alaska’s 27th Legislature (Chapter 25, SLA 12), and is authorized through 2018 for a census of up to 90 clinicians at any one time.  It is exclusively supported by the Alaska State General Fund and required partial employer-match.  In comparison to SHARP-I, it provides much enhanced flexibility.  Participating clinicians can work in a greater variety of healthcare sites, in varied types-of-practice, are not confined to federal HPSA locations only, and have longer (3-year) service contracts.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

This document has been prepared to assist interested parties in gathering information about the SHARP Program, its requirements and other relevant program details:

  • SHARP-II FAQs
    Please review the PDF for information pertaining to the following topics:
    Thinking about Applying?
    SHARP for Service Sites
    SHARP Options
    SHARP for Clinicians
    Filling Out the SHARP Application
    Employer Match Payments
    SHARP-II and Licensed Professional Counselors
    Concurrent Service Obligations
    Licensing

Program Management

Program Manager

  • Robert Sewell, Ph.D. serves as SHARP Program Manager, and has since the program’s inception.  This position provides overall program management, & is the program contact

Email: robert.sewell@alaska.gov
Phone: (907-465-4065
Post: Alaska’s SHARP Program
HPSD, DPH, Alaska DHSS
P.O. Box 110610
Juneau, Alaska  99811-0610

Health Planning and Systems Development:

The SHARP program is within the Section of Health Planning and Systems Development (HPSD), Division of Public Health, Alaska DHSS.  The purpose of HPSD is to strengthen health care systems in Alaska by enhancing health care access with a focus on rural areas and underserved populations.  HPSD conducts statewide health planning to help sustain organized and efficient health care delivery in Alaska.  HPSD work focuses on: health care delivery, workforce development, health care financing and reimbursement strategies, and facility planning. The HPSD staff supports a variety of statewide workforce efforts
(see http://hss.state.ak.us/dph/healthplanning/workforce/workforce_home.htm).

Alaska Healthcare Links:

Alaska Family Medicine Residency

Alaska WWAMI

Alaska State Medical Board

Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association

Alaska Center for Rural Health AHEC

Arctic Health

Workplace Alaska: State Database

Family Medicine Foreign Medical Graduates General Guidelines