(1)The general assembly hereby finds that there are areas of Colorado that suffer from a lack of health-care professionals, geriatric advanced practice providers, or behavioral health-care providers to serve, and a lack of nursing or other health-care professional faculty to train health-care professionals to meet, the medical and behavioral health-care needs of communities. The general assembly further finds that the state needs to implement incentives to encourage health-care professionals, geriatric advanced practice providers, and behavioral health-care providers to practice in these underserved areas and to encourage nursing faculty and other health-care professional faculty to teach health-care professionals.
(2)It is therefore the intent of the general assembly in enacting this part 5 to create a state health service corps program that uses state money, federal money, when permissible, and contributions from communities and private sources to help repay the outstanding education loans that many health-care professionals, geriatric advanced practice providers, behavioral health-care providers, candidates for licensure, nursing faculty, and health-care professional faculty hold. In exchange for repayment of loans incurred for the purpose of obtaining education in their chosen health-care, geriatric care, and behavioral health-care professions, the health-care professionals, geriatric advanced practice providers, behavioral health-care providers, and candidates for licensure will commit to provide health-care, geriatric care, or behavioral health-care services, as applicable, in communities with underserved health-care, geriatric care, or behavioral health-care needs throughout the state, and the nursing and health-care professional faculty will commit to provide a specified period of service in a qualified faculty position.
(3)In addition, for purposes of increasing the availability of certified addiction counselors, it is the intent of the general assembly to create a scholarship program to provide scholarships to addiction counselors who, in exchange for receiving scholarships to assist them in obtaining the required education and training to be certified as an addiction counselor, commit to practice in a health professional shortage area for a specified period.
Section 25-1.5-501 — Legislative declaration,
https://leg.colorado.gov/sites/default/files/images/olls/crs2023-title-25.pdf (accessed Oct. 20, 2023).