The Dept. of Health and Human Services announced Sept. 11 the release of $33 million in funding to help bolster training programs for health care professionals. Most of the money, part of the most recent economic stimulus package, will go toward establishing or expanding efforts to aid medical students, including providing scholarship, tuition and stipend programs. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius estimated that 65 million Americans don't have access to a primary care physician due to local shortages. "That's why the reform effort also needs to look at expanding our very critical health care work force to give more Americans access to the care they need," Sebelius said. "But we can't wait for Congress to act." The grants are being distributed through six programs operated by the Health Resources and Services Administration: * $19.3 million for scholarships to full-time health professions students, with priority given to those with financial need. * $4.9 million for health professions schools to establish or expand programs for minority students. * $3 million for public health schools to support traineeships that pay tuition, fees and stipends for students in biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health, toxicology, nutrition, or maternal and child health. * $2.6 million to increase nursing education opportunities for students from disadvantaged backgrounds through scholarships or stipends, pre-entry preparation, and retention activities. * $2.5 million for schools and health professions training sites to establish or expand programs that help individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds enter and graduate from a health professions program. * $0.8 million for residency programs in dental public health, including financial aid to residents. The full and original article can be found here: