Alaska’s SHARP Program Announcement

What

Alaska’s SHARP Program is our statewide support-for-service effort to provide financial support to a practitioner other than his or her standard wage and benefit.  It is a public-private partnership working to improve the recruitment, retention and distribution of health professionals for Alaska.

SHARP-1 began in 2010 and is our fundamental option.  SHARP-1 service contracts provide education loan repayment, largely for outpatient generalist practitioners providing care in federally designated Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs).  SHARP-1 is based on the state’s receipt of competitive HRSA partnership grants from the federal State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP), of which we have now won four.  All SHARP-1 contracts are at least 50 percent HRSA-funded, with the other 50 percent derived from varied non-federal sources, including employers and the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority.

For key details, go here.

Who

SHARP-1 contracts provide education loan repayments, and are largely focused on outpatient generalist practitioners who provide care to underserved populations.  Behavioral health, dental and primary care medical practitioners are all welcome to apply.  Applications are welcome from both practitioners and employers, and each entity can apply separately even if they do not yet have an “employment partner.”  We estimate that about 100 new SHARP service contracts will be competitively issued to eligible clinicians.

As well, those clinicians who have previously received a SHARP service contract are welcome to reapply.  The key issue is current service obligations must be avoided.  That is, this potential SHARP-1 contract period must not overlap with either another SHARP contract, nor any other service obligation, like the National Health Service Corp or the Indian Health Service Loan Repayment Program.

Where

The SHARP-1 opportunity is only practitioners providing care in federally designated Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs).  There are mental health, dental and primary care HPSAs, and SHARP is interested in enhancing practitioner capacity in all three.  Anyone can use the handy web-based federal search engine to review the many available HPSA locations.  To do so, check the following federal web-link:  https://data.hrsa.gov/tools/shortage-area/hpsa-find

In addition, know that Alaska has just received several new HPSA designations for the Anchorage and the Mat-Su Boroughs.  For information about these key new HPSA designations in mental health, dental and primary care medical, see the public notices here.

When

Opening:  The window for applications will be open from May 1st thru July 10th.

Decisions:  Alaska’s SHARP Council will decide award priorities during publicly noticed meeting(s) in August 2020.

Contracts:  The first of the new SHARP contracts are planned to start as early as September 2020.

Duration:  All SHARP-1 contracts are for a minimum of two years (24 months).

How

All needed application information and forms will be available on the SHARP’s web homepage.

See:  http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/healthplanning/pages/sharp/

Questions

All questions about this application cycle, or the applications themselves, should be posed via email to:  sharp.applications@alaska.gov

All general or other questions as regards SHARP, or other opportunities, should be emailed to sharp.inquiry@alaska.gov

Assistance

For technical assistance, statewide teleconferences are scheduled for interested parties to learn more about this SHARP-1 opportunity.  These teleconferences are optional, and any interested party can call-in.  In general, content repeats on the following dates.

Call 888-392-4560 then dial code 5818485#

o   Friday 5/29:  11:00-12:00

o   Friday 6/12:  11:00-12:00

o   Friday 6/26:  11:00-12:00

o   Friday 7/10:  11:00-12:00

Source: Alaska DHSS SHARP Program

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