The COVID-19 pandemic severely stressed the Massachusetts health and human service system. Many professionals experienced burnout, retired early, or sought different occupations. The Commonwealth now faces a shortage of clinicians and patient support staff, which will only grow without intervention. In addition, the global crisis increased the need for and use of mental health and substance use professionals, a trend that continues.
The MA Repay Program seeks to address this unprecedented disruption and strain by repaying over $130 million in student loans for health and human service professionals across Massachusetts. The program aims to support key staff in community health centers, community mental health centers, inpatient psychiatric hospitals, the psychiatric units of acute care hospitals, and substance use providers.
The program is currently funded by the American Rescue Plan Act and the Opioid Recovery and Remediation Fund. It is administered by the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers on behalf of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services.