Celebrating Healthier Patients and Stronger Communities

By Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services
Posted October 11, 2012

Today we are celebrating the work of the National Health Service Corps in communities across the country.  This year’s theme is “Healthier Patients, Stronger Communities,” and that theme is reflected in the work that our NHSC providers do every day.

The National Health Service Corps helps improve access to health care in communities that need it most.  It provides financial support for doctors, nurses and other health care providers as well as students training for a career in primary care.  This financial support in the form of loan repayment and scholarships allows clinicians who are passionate about serving in our communities the ability to pursue jobs in primary care disciplines without the burden of overwhelming debt. 

Now, thanks to investments made by the Obama Administration there are close to 10,000 National Health Service Corps  doctors, dentists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, mental and behavioral health specialists, and other health providers treating more than 10.4 million people throughout the country.  In fact, the number of providers serving in the NHSC has nearly tripled from 3,600 since the start of the Obama Administration.  And, while Corps members commit to working for at least two years in high need areas, more than 82 percent decide to stay beyond their initial commitment, helping ensure more Americans get the care they need.

I am also excited to announce that this year, the health care law has invested almost $230 million in the NHSC through 4,600 loan repayment and scholarship awards to clinicians and students who are committed to working where they are needed most.

Today, we celebrate Corps Community Day to honor the important work of National Health Service Corps members who are bringing their talents to communities that need health care providers.  To those of you who are serving in the Corps or will serve, I want to say thank you. Thank you for the work you do each and every day to ensure that Americans get the primary care they need and deserve to lead healthy lives.

For stories from National Health Service Corps clinicians, please visit: http://nhsc.hrsa.gov/corpsexperience/40clinicians/index.html