PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — There’s only a few days left to apply for a federal program that rewards healthcare professionals who have education debts and are working in underserved areas of South Dakota.
The application period closes Wednesday, November 23, at 5 p.m. CT for South Dakota’s state loan repayment program. It offers bonuses of up to $25,000 per year to primary care, mental health and dental health providers who practice in the state’s many rural and urban Health Professional Shortage Areas.
The South Dakota Department of Health is receiving $503,000 yearly over three years for a total $1,509,000 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the federal Health Resources and Services Administration.
The funding came through the American Rescue Plan Act that Congress passed in 2021. South Dakota’s three Republicans — Rep. Dusty Johnson, Sen. Mike Rounds and Sen. John Thune — voted against the act.
More than 70 applications for South Dakota’s share of the money have been received and have been considered as they arrived, according to a news release Thursday.