Harris: Biden Administration Will Invest $1.5 Billion to Address Health Workforce Shortage in Underserved Communities

Vice President Kamala Harris announced that the Biden administration will invest $1.5 billion from the American Rescue Plan to address the shortage of doctor, nurse, and behavioral health providers in underserved communities, including in minority communities and rural communities, which have historically lacked resources.

Harris will also announce plans to award $330 million from the Covid-19 relief plan to the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education as part of an effort to bolster the number of primary care physicians and dentists in underserved communities.

The announcements come in response to recommendations of the White House COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force, which issued a report to the administration on November 10.

“These awards are supporting the National Health Service Corps, Nurse Corps, and Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Recovery programs,” the White House said in an announcement. “These programs address workforce shortages and health disparities by providing scholarship and loan repayment funding for health care students and professionals, in exchange for a service commitment in hard-hit and high-risk communities.”

“Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, this funding will support over 22,700 providers—the largest field strength in history for these programs and a record number of skilled doctors, dentists, nurses, and behavioral health providers committed to working in underserved communities during a moment when we need them the most,” the announcement continued.