Mayor Adams Announces Anonymous $1 Million Donation to Launch Student Loan Forgiveness Program

July 24, 2022

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As the largest provider of behavioral health services in New York City, Health + Hospitals will provide between $30,000 and $50,000 in debt relief to psychiatrists, psychologists, nurse practitioners and social workers who agree to serve for three years

New Yorkers can support the effort with donations as the program grows

NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams and NYC Health + Hospitals today announced the launch of a new student loan forgiveness program for behavioral health providers, funded by a $1 million contribution from an anonymous donor. The new program is designed to help attract and retain physicians, nurse practitioners and other clinicians who care for New Yorkers with mental health or addictions needs as the United States faces a national shortage of mental health professionals. NYC Health + Hospitals will offer licensed psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, psychologists and clinical social workers between $30,000 and $50,000 in debt relief in exchange for a three-year commitment to serving the healthcare system public.

NYC Health + Hospitals provides approximately half of all behavioral health services for children and adults in New York City. The Loan Forgiveness Program will be available to eligible employees and new hires for the next year or until the $1 million donation has been distributed. Applications open tomorrow, Monday, July 25, 2022, and New Yorkers can support this effort by donating directly to NYC Health and Hospitals.

“Behavioral health professionals in our public health system work tirelessly to support the most vulnerable New Yorkers living with mental illness and substance abuse disorders,” said Mayor Adams. “Too often these health care workers graduate with crushing debt and have no choice but to work in the private sector to pay their bills. need these professionals due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this loan forgiveness program will help us attract and retain top talent to continue serving New Yorkers across the city. I am grateful to the anonymous donor for this generous donation, and I encourage other businesses and individuals to participate if they are able to support this important cause. »

“As we continue to see an increasing number of New Yorkers struggling with mental health and addictions issues, the essential services of our behavioral health team are needed more than ever,” said President and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals Mitchell Katz, MD. “This donation will allow us to recruit and retain extraordinary clinicians to help address the current mental health crisis.”

“This loan forgiveness program is a great way to invest in our mental health workforce,” said Dr. Charles Barron, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Office of Behavioral Health, NYC Health + Hospitals. “With less debt to worry about, our mental health teams can focus on what they do best: providing high-quality mental health support to New Yorkers.”

“We are extremely grateful for our donor’s exemplary investment in this work,” said Deborah A. Brown, Senior Vice President of External and Regulatory Affairs, NYC Health + Hospitals, JD, MSW. “With this transformative contribution, we hope to inspire more philanthropic interest and create a steady pipeline of support for high-performing behavioral health personnel in the years to come.”

“From the very beginning of my school career, I came across a quote that said, ‘Do what you love, and you will never work a day in your life.’ This has been true for me, as my career as a clinical social worker with NYC Health + Hospitals has allowed me to achieve my career goals and to be immensely proud to do so as a public servant in my own city” , said Adriana Rodriguez-Boseman, Clinical Social Worker, NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Roberto Clemente Center. “However, the cost of these professional goals came with a steep price. The future is still uncertain, but the loan forgiveness will make those dreams a reality.”

“The national shortage of healthcare workers has impacted facilities and providers across the country, at a time when the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the need for services, said Commissioner of the New York State Office of Mental Health, Dr. Ann Sullivan. “The anonymous donation announced today by Mayor Adams and NYC Health + Hospitals CEO Mitch Katz will help NYC Health + Hospitals recruit and retain behavioral health professionals, which is great news for people of New York. Congratulations to Dr. Katz, and my sincere thanks to the very generous anonymous donor.”

“With nearly 300,000 New Yorkers suffering from serious mental illnesses, the city needs to focus on investing in our behavioral health workforce to do the jobs we ask of them,” said Linda Lee, New York City Council Member, Chair of the Mental Health, Disabilities and Addictions Committee. “No matter how much we rightly invest in services, we cannot meet the need without a trained and motivated mental health workforce to do the work on the ground. As a social worker myself, I know firsthand the challenges of attracting and retaining professional mental health talent, which is why I have been advocating for this proposal for so long. While this is a step in the right direction, I look forward to working with the City Council, the Mayor, and the entire mental health provider community to expand these opportunities for non-Health + Hospital providers. Mental health touches all of us, and I am grateful for the generosity of the anonymous donor, as well as the leadership of Mayor Adams, for hearing the needs of the provider community and the communities they serve.”

“The Student Loan Forgiveness Program for Behavioral Health Providers will surely help retain young health care professionals here in New York, where their expertise and willingness to serve are desperately needed,” said New York City Council Member Mercedes Narcisse. “I commend Mayor Adams for his efforts to alleviate the crippling student debt faced by many of these workers, which too often keeps them away from working in our public hospitals. Allow me also to thank The Anonymous New Yorker for his generous donation, which will enable our city to attract and retain psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners and certified clinical social workers in our hospital workforce.”

“If we want to address the increased need for mental health services, especially for underserved communities, we need to talk about workforce development,” said Dan H. Gillison Jr., CEO, National Alliance on Mental Illness. “Loan repayment can help ease the financial burden on mental health professionals, who are already at high risk of burnout, and create more opportunities for people from historically underrepresented communities to join the labor market. We applaud these efforts to increase the number of practitioners and address the urgent mental health needs facing our communities. If we want more mental health services, we must invest in the people who provide them.

Mental Health America is thrilled to see this announcement by Mayor Adams and NYC Health + Hospitals of a student loan repayment program for behavioral health professionals,” said Schroeder Stribling, President and CEO, Mental Health America. “We know that our urgent national mental health crisis is in part due to the lack of qualified professionals to meet the level of need of people seeking help. This new student loan repayment program will create practical incentives and a pathway fair for people seeking to enter the profession. It will also increase the supply of diverse and culturally sensitive providers who are available and ready to answer the call of all those in need, regardless of their insurance status or other barriers to access. We commend New York for leading the way with this important innovation and program.”

“The Urban Resource Institute enthusiastically applauds the new NYC Health + Hospitals Student Loan Repayment Program which will be made available to psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, social workers and other behavioral health professionals,” said Nathaniel M. Fields, CEO, Urban Resources Institute (URI). “As a leading provider of social services, URI is keenly aware of the challenges facing the behavioral health sector, which have been exacerbated by the impacts of COVID-19. This student loan repayment program will provide much-needed support to clinicians who provide vital services to their New York City clients, such as homeless families and domestic violence survivors served by URI.We look forward to continuing our partnership with the Adams administration to attract and retain professionals talented in the areas of behavioral health.

Early-career psychiatrists have an average of $190,000 in debt in medicine, psychiatric nurse practitioners have an average of $56,000 in debt, social workers have an average of $68,000 in debt, and psychologists have an average of $80,000 of debts.

Part of the nation’s largest municipal health care system, NYC Health + Hospitals public hospitals and neighborhood health centers offer a wide variety of excellent mental health services to support recovery from all kinds of mental illnesses. . Additionally, NYC Health + Hospitals offers the highest quality alcohol and substance use recovery programs as part of its behavioral and mental health services, with personalized and thoughtful treatment plans that are effective for each patient.

New Yorkers who need mental health or addictions help can call 844-NYC-4NYC to book an appointment at NYC Health + Hospitals or contact NYC Well online.

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