January 6, 2023
State of Reform
By Hannah Saunders
In continuation of its commitment to protecting an individual’s right to reproductive healthcare, California issued funds January 5th to increase the number of providers offering crucial reproductive healthcare services. Through California’s Department of Health Care Access and Information (HCAI), the state is accepting applications for the distribution of $20 million in grants under the Clinical Infrastructure Fund.
“Increasing access to reproductive health care in California has always been important, but in today’s environment, it is imperative,” HCAI Director Elizabeth Landsberg said. “We can’t provide access to abortions without sufficiently trained reproductive health practitioners and we are pleased to be able to support training of this critical health workforce.”
In the wake of the US Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe V. Wade, which protects people’s rights to choose to have an abortion, the state is working hard to ensure Californians—and individuals in other states—have access to the reproductive care they need, according to Gov. Newsom.
“Increasing the number of qualified providers is paramount to expanding access to care, and continuing our state’s nation-leading work to protect people’s constitutional rights and fundamental freedoms,” Gov. Newsom said.
HCAI is accepting applications for their Advanced Practice Healthcare Scholarship and Allied Healthcare Scholarship programs until February 24th. Eligible professions under the Advanced Practice Healthcare Scholarship program include nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and certified nurse midwives. The maximum award amount under this program is $25,000.
Under the Allied Healthcare Scholarship program, the maximum award amount is $15,000. Eligible professions include licensed midwives, doulas, community health workers and promotores, and medical assistants. Awards for these two programs will be provided in May of 2023, although dates are subject to change.
Funding for the programs comes with conditions: applicants are required to commit to working in reproductive health, and providing abortion or abortion-related services in an underserved community for 12 months.
Abortion-related services include having trained providers provide abortions under sanitary conditions, using modern techniques, or using high quality medications with an effective regimen for medical abortions.
Other abortion-related services are miscarriage management, counseling or mental health services related to abortions, contraceptive services, links to other sexual and reproductive health services, and connections to the community.
Additional programs eligible for the Clinical Infrastructure Fund, which will open later in 2023, include:
- Behavioral Health Scholarship Program, with eligible professions including licensed clinical social workers, associate clinical social workers, licensed psychologists, licensed marriage and family therapists, associate marriage and family therapists, licensed professional clinical counselors, and associate professional clinical counselors. The application for this program opens in May and the maximum award amount is to be determined.
- Bachelor of Science Nursing Loan Repayment Program, with eligible professions including registered nurses. The application for this program opens on May 1st and closes on July 31st. The maximum award amount is $15,000, with awards expected to be funded in October.
- Licensed Vocational Nursing Loan Repayment Program, with eligible professions including licensed vocational nurses. Applications open on May 1st and close on July 31st, with a maximum award amount of $8,000.
- Licensed Mental Health Services Provider Education Loan Repayment Program, with eligible professions including licensed clinical social workers, associate clinical social workers, licensed clinical psychologists, licensed marriage and family therapists, associate marriage and family therapists, licensed professional clinical counselors, and associate professional clinical counselors. Applications open on May 1st and close on October 31st, with a maximum award amount of $30,000.
- Steven M. Thompson Physician Corps Loan Repayment Program, with eligible professions including physicians. The application for this program opens on May 1st and closes on July 31st. The maximum award amount is $105,000, with awards expected to be funded in October.
“As an OBGYN, I know just how critically important reproductive health care is,” California Surgeon General Dr. Diana Ramos said. “Reproductive health care is essential and California is leading the way to ensure it is available to all those who need it.”
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