Funding Alert! Training Opportunities for Health Care Workforce Development!

Health Resources and Services Administration

Attention institutions of higher education, community-based healthcare organizations, and school districts! The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has various upcoming opportunities for healthcare professional training programs. This announcement features healthcare opportunities specifically focused on training networks for underserved and diverse communities. Upcoming posts through the end of July will feature opportunities for training related to nursing, residency, secondary education outreach, and substance abuse.

About the agency

HRSA programs provide equitable health care to people who are geographically isolated and economically or medically vulnerable. This includes programs that deliver health services to people with HIV, pregnant people, mothers and their families, those with low incomes, residents of rural areas, American Indians and Alaska Natives, and those otherwise unable to access high-quality health care. HRSA programs also support health infrastructure, including training health professionals and distributing them to areas where they are needed most, providing financial support to health care providers, and advancing telehealth. In addition, HRSA oversees programs for providing discounts on prescription drugs to safety net providers, facilitating organ, bone marrow, and cord blood transplantation, compensating individuals injured by vaccination, and maintaining data on health care malpractice payments.

As part of a series, funding Friday will highlight HRSA opportunities focused on training for the healthcare workforce, both available and forecasted. This week includes training programs to bolster the healthcare training pipeline for secondary education, managed by the Bureau of Health Workforce featuring the following opportunities:

  • Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP) aims to assist individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds to enter a health profession through the development of academies that will support and guide individuals through the educational pipeline. The goal of the National HCOP Academies is to expand and prepare the health care workforce of the 21st century by funding projects to increase and support opportunities for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds to enter a health profession. Programs will 1) promote recruitment of qualified individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds into the health professions, including allied health programs, 2) improve retention, matriculation, and graduation rates by implementing tailored enrichment programs addressing academic and social needs of disadvantaged students, and 3) provide opportunities for community-based health profession training in primary care, emphasizing experiences in rural and underserved communities. This opportunity is forecasted with an anticipated deadline of March 2023.
  • Area Health Education Centers Program (AHEC) aims to develop and enhance education and training networks within communities, academic institutions, and community-based organizations that increase diversity among health professionals, broaden the distribution of the health workforce, enhance health care quality, and improve health care delivery to rural and underserved areas and populations. This opportunity is forecasted with an anticipated deadline of April 2023.

Who is eligible to apply?

HCOP: Applicants for this opportunity can include accredited schools of medicine or osteopathic medicine, public health, dentistry, veterinary medicine, optometry, pharmacy, allied health, chiropractic, or podiatric medicine, public or private schools offering graduate programs in behavioral and mental health programs for physician assistants, public or private health or educational entities including community colleges, technical colleges, and tribal colleges. Nursing programs are not eligible through this opportunity.

AHEC: Eligible applicants include public or nonprofit private accredited schools of allopathic medicine or osteopathic medicine, a consortia of schools or parent institutions of such schools. In states where no AHEC programs are in operation, accredited schools of nursing are eligible.

What are the program details?

HCOP: Programs will focus on three key milestones of education 1) high school graduation and matriculation into a two or four year college, 2) graduation from a two or four year college, and 3) matriculation into graduate-level health progression programs, retention, and completion of a graduate-level health profession program. Recipients will provide counseling and mentoring services to assist students in successfully completing their education and training, student stipends, financial planning resources, and health care career centers and training information. The goal is to lead to matriculation into applicant or partner organization’s two or four year college/university, health or allied health professions school, or employment in primary care settings in rural and underserved communities. Applicant programs will address all nine activities: recruitment, facilitating entry, counseling, mentoring, or other services, preliminary education and health research training, financial aid information, primary care exposure, developing a competitive applicant pool, stipends, and scholarships. Applicants may apply for up to $640,000 per year over a five year period. Approximately $12.8 million is expected to be distributed through 20 awardees.

AHEC: Programs will contribute towards the HRSA mission to increase access to care for underserved individuals and communities through their academic and community partnerships that create training opportunities for health professions students and health care professionals. All program activities will be structured around five focus areas: educational and training activities, strategic partnership activities, statewide evaluation activities, AHEC scholars program, and other requirements. With an anticipated $43 million to distribute, the administrators expect to award up to 55 cooperative agreements for a five-year project period in two phases. The first phase, AHEC Infrastructure and Development, will award up to $148,000 per center; the AHEC Point of Service Maintenance and Enhancement phase will award up to $250,000 per center.

What makes a project a good fit?

While the requirements of the opportunity will be made available in the notice of funding opportunity, projects that support HRSA’s overall goals will be better aligned. These include project designs which clearly demonstrate the applicant’s ability to:

  1. Take actionable steps to achieve health equity and improve public health;
  2. Improve access to quality health services;
  3. Foster a health workforce and health infrastructure able to address current/emerging needs; and
  4. Optimize HRSA operations and strengthen program engagement.

Based on previous NOFOs, these are suggestions for what might make a project a good fit:

HCOP: applicants that use a comprehensive approach to promote development of a culturally competent workforce to serve underserved and unserved in a given geographic area, a model that involves partnerships between public or nonprofit private health or educational entities will receive preference.

AHEC: projects that work towards achieving the three overarching goal of preparing a diverse, culturally competent workforce, improving workforce distribution among rural and underserved areas, and developing and maintaining a health care workforce that is prepared to deliver high quality care in transforming health care delivery systems will be aligned with the opportunity.

What if I am ready to apply? To move your project forward, take the following action steps as soon as possible:

What if I need help with this application?

Contact Assel Grant Services (AGS) today! Our team can help with all aspects of preparing the application and managing the grant if you are awarded. If you would like to discuss this possibility, please contact AGS as soon as possible. Julie Assel, GPC, President/CEO, will be happy to talk with you about this opportunity and provide you with a quote for grant services.

What if I am not ready to apply this year?

Start planning ahead for next year! HRSA also has a variety of other workforce-focused programs available through its Bureau of Health Workforce. You can view the full list (and search other HRSA funding programs) here.

How do I learn more about federal grant proposal writing, so my application is more likely to be successful?

AGS is excited to offer a Federal Grants Training Series in 2022! The series is designed to support nonprofit leaders before and during the application process. AGS also offers several on demand webinars on a variety of topics to support the full grant cycle. Check out our website to learn more and sign up for our training newsletter.

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