Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Politics & Government
Contact 90.5 WESA with a story idea or news tip: news@wesa.fm

Pennsylvania Boosts Student-Loan Aid To Bolster Opioid Fight

opioids_nurse_doctor.jpg
Carla K. Johnson
/
AP
In this May 4, 2017 photo, Melissa Jones, right, a nurse educator with Alosa Health, speaks with Dr. Dorothy Wilhelm in an exam room at a medical office in Monroeville, Pa.

Gov. Tom Wolf's administration is devoting $5 million in federal grants to a student-loan repayment program in high opioid-use areas where there's a shortage of substance-abuse treatment professionals.

The application period opened May 1 and runs through June 3. An administration spokesman says the new program is fairly unique in the opioid-epidemic response.

The administration says there are 30 counties where opioid abuse is most prevalent, including Philadelphia and Allegheny County.

Successful applicants must have served two years treating substance abuse and opioid addiction. They'll be obligated to commit to two additional years working at an approved treatment facility.

The state has an existing student-loan repayment program for primary care physicians using $2.6 million in state and federal funds.