Application Announcement - 2020

PUBLIC NOTICE on SHARP-1:  Opportunity for Healthcare Practitioner Loan Repayment for State Fiscal Year 2020


The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) announces a new SHARP-1 loan repayment opportunity for selected healthcare practitioners in State Fiscal Year 2020.  This is our standard SHARP applicant-solicitation. 


Availability of Applications


The clinician application form and the employer application form for this solicitation will be available from Friday 5/1/20 through Friday 7/10/20 at 5:00 pm (AT).  On 5/1/20 and thereafter, all instructions regarding how to receive and complete the SHARP application will be web-posted to Thereafter, during August 2020, Alaska’s SHARP Council will convene in publicly noticed meeting(s) to review and select from the resulting pool of eligible applicants. 


SHARP-1 Employer (Site) Application


During this solicitation, we anticipate that many healthcare agencies will be found eligible; including private non-profit and public (government) healthcare sites, (for-profit entities are not eligible).  Examples include, but are not limited to, 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).  Any interested party can learn whether any specific locality and/or facility has a HPSA designation by going to the following website:


    • SHARP-1 site application forms will be available for all employer applicants on SHARP website from 5/1/20 to 7/10/20.

    • All employer applicants must sign and endorse a provided attestation page, which will also be on the SHARP website.

    • The SHARP website address is

    • All agencies interested in participation must apply during this application cycle, regardless of whether such agencies have applied in the past.

      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 will be available via the internet at

    • Application forms will be available on that website from 5/1/20  through 7/10/20 at 5:00 pm.

    • The date of submission (within the eligible range) is not relevant in the prioritization process.

    • SHARP does not use a “first come, first served” approach for either the review and/or selection of applicants.


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 annual amounts are:  Tier-1: $35,000 - $47,000, and Tier-2: $20,000 - $27,000, with the maximum amounts (within each Tier) dependent upon four factors: (a) occupation type (Tier-1 or Tier-2); (b)  (1) participation size (full-time or half-time); (c) amount of eligible loan-debt owed (i.e. program only pays up to “cap amount” per year); and (d) Position Type: Regular v. Very Hard-to-Fill.


In addition to the payment amount, the benefit also includes other features.  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.


No-Cost Application


SHARP does not charge either the clinician or the employer for submitting an application, and, no other cost(s) are anticipated to result from this solicitation’s application process.



Technical Assistance


For technical assistance, statewide teleconferences are scheduled for interested parties to learn more about this SHARP-1 opportunity.  These teleconferences are optional, and any interested party can call-in.  In general, content repeats on the following dates.


  • Call 888-392-4560 then dial code 5818485#


    • Friday 5/01:  11:00-12:00

    • Friday 5/15:  11:00-12:00

    • Friday 5/29:  11:00-12:00

    • Friday 6/12:  11:00-12:00

    • Friday 6/26:  11:00-12:00

    • Friday 7/10:  11:00-12:00


Contract Start-Date and Duration


We plan that most all SHARP-1 contracts for this solicitation will begin between 9/1/20 and 10/1/20.  In selected situations, given clinicians will be able to start their service obligations later in the year.  All contracts are of at least two years (24 months) duration of service.  There are virtually no circumstances in which clinicians are authorized to leave contract earlier than 24 months of service.


For More Information


Please pose all individual inquires about this opportunity via email.  The address to do so is


All interested parties are asked to use the scheduled teleconferences listed above to have their questions addressed. 


For more information about Alaska’s SHARP program, please review the SHARP website on and after 5/1/20 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:

New Opportunities for Practitioner Loan Repayment in SFY 2020


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. 


Funding Sources and Planned Project Size


For SHARP-1, the pivotal funding resource is periodic receipt of our recurring federal HRSA-SLRP partnership grant.  This most recent grant project is our largest-to-date.  Highlights of this current four-year project budget includes contributions from: (a) the federal Health Resources and Services Administration ($4,000,000, i.e. $1M/year), (b) the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority ($800,000, i.e. $200K/year), and (c) participating employers.  About 100 new contracts are planned to result from this solicitation (Cohort-B), composed of about 60% medical, 35% behavioral health and 15% dental practitioners.



Resulting Service Contract has Three Parties


Application guidelines, forms and a contract-example will be available on SHARP’s website beginning on 5/1/20.  The SHARP website address is   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 and the employer.  Thus, each party can apply separately, but we only provide final (resulting) contracts jointly.  SHARP urges interested clinicians to begin dialogue with their current or prospective employers at their earliest opportunity.  If individual practitioners and site applicants are in need of finding partners then SHARP may perhaps be able to provide relevant contact information.


Required Partial Employer Match


SHARP-1 funding requires a partial employer matching-payment at the rates stated below (minimum 50% of total contract value), payable over time based on quarterly invoicing.  The phrase “employer match” means portion of total contract value.  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 listed here below, and are further described at the web-link Employer Match: Description and Process


Contract-1 – Employer match at 50% of value:  It is expected that each employer that participates in this solicitation will be able to have its first three contracts with the 50% level of required employer match, provided that the position and practitioner are otherwise eligible and of priority.


Contract-2 – Employer match at 80% of value:  Experience has shown that several of the larger employers often seek to have more than three clinicians become SHARP participants in a given solicitation.  This is fine, and encouraged, however any more than three resulting contracts will have an 80% level of employer-match.


Contract-3 – Off-cycle awards:  Employers are sometimes confronted with handle very pressing human resource (HR) decisions concerning recruitment, hiring or retention of key staff.  In those circumstances, SHARP can move exceptionally quickly (within days) in issuance of a needed service contract, regardless of the time-of-year (that is, during “off-cycle” or “when the regular applicant solicitation is NOT open).  A given employer may need to make an important hiring offer, and a SHARP contract is hoped to be part of that HR package.  All of the “off-cycle” contract terms are identical to those of our standard contracts (i.e. Contracts 1 and 2), with the sole exception being cost to the employer.  For Contract-3 (off-cycle) awards, the employer pays all of the contract cost (except $1,000), payable over time based on quarterly invoicing.

Council Decision and Announcement of Contract Awards


Alaska’s SHARP Council will meet during August 2020 to review applicant data and then to potentially issue 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 DHSS Public Notices process.  All program-admittance decisions by Council are conducted via use of blind case-code, and resulting Council decisions are considered final.  Each applicant is notified in writing as to the Council’s decision regarding the application.  DHSS reserves the right not to accept any or all applications received, and further, to solicit again for more candidates.


Required Administrative Fee


Beginning with this application cycle, we anticipate that a standard per-contract program administration fee will be charged.  This fee will be charged in an amount equal to 5% of the total contract value.  For simple illustration, if the total contract value (amount paid to clinician) is $100, then the program administration fee will be $5, and thus the resulting total contract cost will be $105.


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.  Information about these features will be presented in the scheduled technical assistance teleconference, and will also appear on the SHARP program main website.


  • Employer Recruitment Prerogative

  • Demonstration-1:  Recruitment and Retention of Substance Abuse Treatment Clinicians

  • Demonstration-2:  Recruitment and Retention of Clinicians to Replace Locum Tenens

  • Site Eligibility for inpatient positions in tribally operated hospitals, and other critical access hospitals

  • Off-Cycle Contracts (always available, including during those periods between regular solicitations)

Attachments, History, Details



Revision History

Created 2/24/2020 12:00:00 PM by kamollette
Modified 2/24/2020 3:59:56 PM by kamollette


Department: Health and Social Services
Category: Public Notices
Location(s): Statewide
Project/Regulation #:
Publish Date: 2/24/2020
Archive Date: 7/11/2020