SHARP-1: UPDATE - Practitioner Loan Repayment for SFY 2019 Application Window CLOSES June 21st, 2019

Alaska DHSS Public Notice - Update



Alaska’s SHARP Program — Providing Support-for-Service to Healthcare Clinicians

Submitted by: RG Sewell

Submitted:  Tuesday 6/10/19


PUBLIC NOTICE - UPDATE - SHARP-1:  Practitioner Loan Repayment for SFY 2019 Application Window Closes June 21st, 2019


The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) announces the conclusion of its SHARP-1 healthcare practitioner loan repayment application period for State Fiscal Year 2019.  This 2019 application opportunity closes on June 21st, 2019, 5:00 pm (AK).


Availability of Applications


This currently open SHARP-1 application cycle is entitled Cohort-A, Group-2.  To be considered for SHARP-1 Cohort-A, Group-2 application cycle, any clinician application forms and any employer application forms be submitted as complete by June 21st, 2019 at 5:00 pm (AK).  Until that time, all instructions regarding how to receive and complete the SHARP application will be web-posted to Thereafter, no new SHARP-1 applications will be accepted for 2019.


SHARP-1 Employer (Site) Application


Over time, numerous healthcare agencies have been determined as eligible for SHARP-1.  These have included both private non-profit and public (government) healthcare sites.  Examples of such have included community health centers, critical access hospitals, community mental health (behavioral health) clinics, tribal health entities, drug treatment facilities, long-term care facilities and others.  For a site to be classified as eligible-to-apply, the site must at least either have the designation of, or be within, a federal Health Professions Shortage Area (HPSA).  SHARP does not charge a cost for employers to submit an application for this solicitation.


    • SHARP-1 site application forms are available for all employer applicants via the SHARP website until June 21st at 5:00 pm.

    • All employer applicants must sign and endorse the provided attestation page, which is also available via SHARP’s website.

    • The SHARP website address is

    • If an agency has already successfully applied to SHARP (any time from 1/1/18 onward) then the agency need not submit another employer application.  However, agencies are free to update their employer applications (e.g. for more occupations).


      SHARP-1 Practitioner (Clinician) Application


Eligible SHARP-1 practitioner occupations are grouped into two tiers. Tier 1 includes Doctor of Allopathic Medicine (M.D.); Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.); Dentist (D.D.S. or D.M.D); and Pharmacist. Tier 2 includes: Clinical or Counseling Psychologist (Ph.D. or Psy.D.); Licensed Clinical Social Worker; Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC); Marriage and Family Therapist; Nurse Midwife; Nurse Practitioner; Physician Assistant; Registered Clinical Dental Hygienist; and Registered Nurse (R.N.).


    • Practitioner application forms are available via SHARP website

    • Application forms will be available through SHARP’s website until June 21st, 2019, at 5:00 (AK).

    • The program does not charge a cost for practitioners to submit a clinician application.


Service Contract Benefit


Education loan-debt repayment support is paid in an amount of up to the maximum annual benefit for the practitioner.  Those maximum amounts are   Tier-1: $35,000 - $47,000, and Tier-2: $20,000 - $27,000, with the maximum amounts (within each Tier) dependent upon whether the position is categorized as “regular fill” vs. “very hard-to-fill.”  All SHARP education loan repayments are exempt from federal personal income tax according to federal regulation.  SHARP’s support-for-service awards are strictly in addition to (and are not a supplanting of) the clinician’s regular employer-provided wage and benefit.  Once a practitioner has received and completed an initial two-year contract award, and remains in good standing, he/she is welcome to apply again.  However, all applications occur through the SHARP program’s standard competitive process.  Receiving an initial contract does not automatically ensure receipt of a second contract.


Contact Information


Please poses any questions about this opportunity via email.  The address to do so is


For more information about Alaska’s SHARP program, please review the SHARP website until June 21st, 2019 at the following web address:


If you are a person with a disability who requires a special accommodation to participate in this process, please contact Robert Sewell, SHARP Program Director, at or via phone 907-465-4065.  Please do so no later than five days before the accommodation is needed to ensure that any necessary accommodations can be provided.


Information about SHARP-1:

Application Opportunity for Healthcare Practitioner Loan Repayment (in 2019) – Closes on June 21st, 2019


What is SHARP?


SHARP is designed to help ensure that residents throughout the state, including recipients of medical assistance or Medicare, and the uninsured, experience improved access to healthcare services.  SHARP is intended to help address the worsening shortage of certain healthcare professionals in the state by increasing the number and improving the distribution of healthcare professionals who provide direct patient care. The goal of Alaska’s SHARP program is to increase recruitment and retention of healthcare practitioners to serve in designated healthcare service shortage areas in exchange for specified support-for-service payments (e.g. education loan repayment).  SHARP selects all practitioner-participants only using the program’s standard competitive process.  For selection, a SHARP Council’s recommendation is required.  More information about Alaska’s SHARP Program is available at:


What is SHARP-1?


SHARP-1 is for those licensed practitioners who provide direct patient care (medical, dental or behavioral health) typically in primary care or related settings.  The program has now successfully applied for the federal HRSA-SLRP grant opportunity four times.  In these, each participating clinician signs a two-year service contract (memorandum of agreement) stating his/her commitment to serve in an identified high-needs area or facility.  SHARP-1 is operated by DHSS, in accordance with the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) guidelines.  Selection of SHARP candidates is based on funding availability and SHARP Council’s assessment of prioritized community, facility and population needs.  This opportunity also depends on the type of facility, and whether the individual position is classified as (1) full-time or half-time and (2) either regular-fill or a very hard-to-fill; and (3) tier level.  Further information as to whether a position is categorized as regular-fill vs. very hard-to-fill can be found at Position Type: Regular v. Very Hard-to-Fill.


Required Partial Employ Match


SHARP-1 funding requires a partial employer matching-payment at the rates stated here-below (minimum 50% of total contract value), payable upon quarterly invoice.  A partial waiver of this match requirement is possible in those unusual circumstances wherein the applicant-agency demonstrates an “inability to pay.”  There are three possible levels of required partial employer match.  These are here listed, and are further described at the web-link Employer Match: Description and Process:  (1) Contract-1:  50% of total value; (2) Contract-2:  80% of total value, and (3) Contract-3:  Off-cycle awards (employer is invoiced value of total contract, minus $1,000).

New Program Innovations for This Cycle


There are several new features for this SHARP-1 (SLRP-4) four-year grant project.  These innovations are designed to make the program more flexible, and to increase the program’s potential impact.  These new features and their related web-links are listed below.



Funding Sources and Planned Project Size


For SHARP-1, the pivotal funding resource is periodic receipt of our recurring competitive federal HRSA-SLRP partnership grant.  This most recent grant project (now Alaska’s fourth) is our largest-to-date.  Highlights of this current four-year project and budget include (a) $16,800,000 budget overall, (b) $4,000,000 from HRSA, (c) up to $800,000 from the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority (AMHTA), and (d) up to $12,000,000 from other contributors (principally employers).  In our initial proposal to federal HRSA, the eventual total clinician census was projected to be a maximum of about 282 FTE, comprised of approximately 107 medical, 105 behavioral health and 70 dental practitioners.  Both full-time and half-time service contract options are available, and all contracts are of at least two-year durations.  This project has two Cohorts (A and B), with each containing about half of the total planned census.  Thus far, Cohort-A consists of two groups, wherein Group-1 contracts (n=74) began on and after October 1st, 2018.  The currently open clinician solicitation is for Cohort-A, Group-2.  As stated above, this current Group-2 solicitation is now scheduled to close on June 21st at 5:00 pm.  Any resulting Cohort-A, Group-2 contracts that are issued will start on July 1st, 2019, or later.


Council Decision and Announcement of Contract Awards


The SHARP Advisory Council will convene in publicly noticed meeting(s) to make (any) SHARP-1 award decisions.  Council addresses these and related matters in Business Meetings that are open to the public, which are pre-announced via the regular Alaska DHSS Public Notices process.  All program-admittance decisions by Alaska’s SHARP Council are conducted via use of blind case-code, and resulting Council recommendations are considered final.  Each applicant is notified in writing as to the Council’s decision regarding his or her application.  DHSS reserves the right not to accept any or all applications received, and further, it retains the option to solicit again for more candidates.  Any resulting Cohort-A, Group-2 contracts will start on July 1st, 2019, or thereafter.


Final Service Contract has Three Parties


Both individual healthcare practitioners and individual healthcare delivery sites (i.e. employers, or agencies) are welcome to apply separately (i.e. even without the corresponding partner yet identified).  However, finalization of each service contract requires the joint agreement and signatures of the clinician, the employer and Alaska DHSS.  Thus, each party can apply separately, but SHARP only provides final contracts conjointly.  Thus, SHARP urges any interested clinicians to begin dialogue with their prospective or current employers at their earliest opportunity.  If individual practitioner or site applicants are interested in finding a corresponding partner then SHARP may be potentially able to provide respective contact information.


Future SHARP Application Opportunities


Looking ahead, know that Alaska’s SHARP Program is now also planning on two more new application opportunities.  Those application windows (and any others) are announced via regular DHSS Public Notice, once those are scheduled.  We now anticipate that the first of those two will be for the “SHARP-3” opportunity, which is based on Senate Bill 93 that passed in the 31st Alaska Legislature.  The SHARP-3 opportunity is expected to open on or around January 1st, 2019, with earliest resulting contract start-dates on or around March 1st, 2020.   The second upcoming application opportunity will be for SHARP-1 Cohort-B, which is expected to open on or around June 1st, 2020, with earliest resulting contract start-dates on or around October 1st, 2020.


Attachments, History, Details



Revision History

Created 6/11/2019 10:37:01 AM by kamollette


Department: Health and Social Services
Category: Public Notices
Location(s): Statewide
Project/Regulation #:
Publish Date: 6/11/2019
Archive Date: 7/15/2019