Health care employs more workers than any other job sector in Maine, yet critical worker shortages existed in Maine prior to the pandemic and have been exacerbated by it. These shortages limit access to quality care, particularly in behavioral health and long-term care; increase costs; and affect Maine’s ability to attract talented workers since quality health care is often a priority for relocation. Student loan debt creates financial burdens that people interested in health care professions often must carry in order to enter the field.
Backed by $4 million from the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, three student debt relief programs will provide financial aid, such as through scholarships and student loan repayment, to allow more people to become doctors, nurse educators, behavioral health specialists, long term care professionals, and other health care professionals. The Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) will distribute this tuition assistance through the Doctors for Maine’s Future Scholarship Fund, the Maine Health Care Provider Loan Repayment Pilot Program, and the Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program.