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SHARP-1 – Opportunity for Healthcare Practitioner Loan Repayment for 2018 - 2019

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) is proud to announce our new SHARP-1 clinician loan repayment opportunity for selected healthcare practitioners (2018 – 2019).  This is the Alaska SHARP program’s standard solicitation for clinician applicants.  DHSS Public Notice is posted at:  https://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/View.aspx?id=190423 .


Due-Date for Applications

The due date for all application forms and materials for this solicitation is Friday, 8/31/18 at 5:00 pm.  Email all application forms and supporting document(s) to SHARP.Applications@alaska.gov by the due date.  Any application that is not completed by the due-date will not be further considered.


Contract Award Amounts

Loan repayment support is paid in an amount of up to the maximum annual benefit for the practitioner.  Those maximum amounts are   Tier-1: $35,000 - $47,000, and Tier-2: $20,000 - $27,000.  All SHARP education loan repayments are exempt from federal personal income tax according to federal regulation.  SHARP’s support-for-service awards are strictly in addition to (and is not a supplanting of) the clinician’s regular employer-provided wage and benefit. 


HRSA’s Notice of Grant Award


For SHARP-1, the pivotal funding resource is our federal HRSA-SLRP partnership grant.  SHARP applied for this competitive continuation grant on 5/7/18.  We are now awaiting notice from HRSA to our results from that application. 


As background, our program has won the SLRP grant during three prior award cycles.  At this point, we expect to receive a federal Notice of Grant Award (NGA) on or about 8/1/18.  A Public Notice will be issued once the HRSA NGA is received.  The amount of funds available is the key determinant as to the ultimate number of practitioner service contracts to be awarded.


SHARP will not issue any service contracts until after it receives HRSA’s Notice of Grant Award.  In anticipation of the still-to-be-received federal Notice of Grant Award (NGA), we are proactively announcing the opening of our SHARP-1 clinician and employer application cycle.  The benefit of opening SHARP’s application cycle now, prior to receipt of our NGA, is that this will allow interested clinicians and employers much more time to apply, and as well, a much earlier potential start-date for finalists. 


Technical Assistance

For technical assistance, statewide teleconferences are scheduled for interested parties to learn more about this SHARP-1 application opening.  These teleconferences are optional, and any interested party can call-in.  Content repeats on the following dates.


  • Call 888-392-4560 then dial NEW code, which is 5818485


Friday 6/22:  11:30-12:30

Friday 6/29:  11:30-12:30

Friday 7/13:  11:30-12:30

Friday 7/27:  11:30-12:30

Friday 8/10:  11:30-12:30

Friday 8/24:  11:30-12:30


Contact Information

Any and all correspondence about the application process or materials themselves must be sent to sharp.applications@alaska.gov


No-Cost Application

SHARP is not charging any cost to either clinicians or employers for applying, and no other cost(s) are anticipated to result from this solicitation’s application process.  This SHARP-1 Cohort-A application is a “no-cost” opportunity. 


Background Information regarding this SHARP-1 opportunity

What is SHARP?

SHARP is designed to help ensure that residents throughout the state, including recipients of medical assistance or Medicare, and the uninsured, experience improved access to healthcare services.  SHARP is intended to help address the worsening shortage of certain healthcare professionals in the state by increasing the number and improving the distribution of healthcare professionals who provide direct patient care. The goal of Alaska’s SHARP program is to increase recruitment and retention of healthcare practitioners to serve in designated healthcare service shortage areas in exchange for specified support-for-service payments (e.g. education loan repayment).  SHARP selects all practitioner-participants only through its standard competitive process.  For selection, SHARP Council’s recommendation is required.  More information about Alaska’s SHARP Program is available at: http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/HealthPlanning/Pages/sharp/default.aspx .


What is SHARP-1?

SHARP-1 is for those practitioners who provide direct patient care (medical, dental or behavioral health) typically in primary care or related settings.  We have successfully applied for the SLRP grant opportunity three times before.  In these, each participating clinician signs a two-year service contract (memorandum of agreement) stating his/her commitment to serve in an identified high need area or facility, beginning in SFY 2018.  SHARP-1 is operated by DHSS, in accordance with the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) guidelines.  Selection of SHARP candidates is based on funding availability and SHARP Council’s assessment of prioritized community, facility and population needs.  This opportunity also depends on the type of facility, and whether the individual position is classified as (1) full-time or half-time and (2) either regular-fill or a very hard-to-fill; and (3) tier level.  Further information as to whether a position is classified as regular-fill or very hard-to-fill can be found at Position Type: Regular v. Very Hard-to-Fill.


Funding Sources and Planned Project Size

Highlights of this four-year project’s plan and budget include (a) $16,800,000 budget overall, (b) $4,000,000 from HRSA, (c) $800,000 from the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority (AMHTA), and (d) $12,000,000 from other contributors (principally employers).  The planned total clinician census is 282 FTE, comprised of 107 medical, 105 behavioral health and 70 dental practitioners.  Both full-time and half-time options will be available.  The project will have two cohorts (A and B), with each containing about half of the total planned census.  Cohort-A is expected to begin service contracts on or around 10/1/18.  A key determinant as to the ultimate size of the budget and clinician census will be the federal Notice of Grant Award, which is still pending.


New Program Innovations for This Cycle

There are several new features for this SHARP-1 (SLRP-4) four-year grant project.  These innovations are designed to make the program more flexible, and to substantially increase the program’s potential impact.  These new features are listed below.



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