Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 32.1. Health
Chapter 4. Health Care Planning
12/5/2021

§ 32.1-122.9. Conditional grants for certain dental students.

A. With such funds as are appropriated for this purpose, the Board of Health shall establish annual dental scholarships for students in good standing at Virginia Commonwealth University. No recipient shall be awarded more than five scholarships. The amount and number of such scholarships shall be determined annually as provided in the appropriation act. The Commissioner shall act as fiscal agent for the Board in administration of the scholarship funds.

The governing board of Virginia Commonwealth University shall submit to the Commissioner the names of those eligible applicants who are most qualified as determined by the regulations of the Board for these dental scholarships. The Commissioner shall award the scholarships to the applicants whose names are submitted by the governing board.

B. The Board, after consultation with the School of Dentistry of Virginia Commonwealth University, shall promulgate regulations to administer this scholarship program which shall include, but not be limited to:

1. Qualifications of applicants;

2. Criteria for award of the scholarships to assure that recipients will fulfill the practice obligations established in this section;

3. Standards to assure that recipients participate in the Commonwealth's medical assistance services program, established pursuant to § 32.1-325, and the Family Access to Medical Insurance Security Plan, established pursuant to § 32.1-351, and that recipients do not limit the number of persons enrolled in these programs who are admitted to their dental practice;

4. Assurances that bona fide residents of Virginia, as determined by § 23.1-502, students of economically disadvantaged backgrounds and residents of underserved areas are given preference over nonresidents in determining scholarship eligibility and awards;

5. Assurances that scholarship recipients will begin dental practice in an underserved area of the Commonwealth within two years following completion of their residencies;

6. Methods for reimbursement of the Commonwealth by recipients who fail to complete dental school or who fail to honor the obligation to engage in dental practice for a period of years equal to the number of annual scholarships received;

7. Procedures for reimbursing any recipient who has repaid the Commonwealth for part or all of any scholarship and who later fulfills the terms of his contract; and

8. Reporting of data related to the recipients of the scholarships by the dental schools.

C. Prior to the award of any scholarship, the applicant shall sign a contract in which he agrees to pursue the dental course of Virginia Commonwealth University until his graduation and, upon graduation or upon completing a term not to exceed four years as an intern or resident at an approved institution or facility, to promptly begin and thereafter engage continuously in dental practice in an underserved area in Virginia for a period of years equal to the number of annual scholarships received. The contract shall specify that no form of dental practice such as military service or public health service may be substituted for the obligation to practice in an underserved area in the Commonwealth.

The contract shall provide that the applicant will not voluntarily obligate himself for more than the minimum period of military service required for dentists by the laws of the United States and that, upon completion of this minimum period of obligatory military service, the applicant will promptly begin to practice in an underserved area for the requisite number of years. The contract shall include other provisions as considered necessary by the Attorney General and the Commissioner.

The contract may be terminated by the recipient while the recipient is enrolled in dental school upon providing notice and immediate repayment of the total amount of scholarship funds received plus interest at the prevailing bank rate for similar amounts of unsecured debt.

D. In the event the recipient fails to maintain a satisfactory scholastic standing, the recipient may, upon certification of the Commissioner, be relieved of the obligations under the contract to engage in dental practice in an underserved area upon repayment to the Commonwealth of the total amount of scholarship funds received plus interest at the prevailing bank rate for similar amounts of unsecured debt.

E. In the event the recipient dies or becomes permanently disabled so as not to be able to engage in the practice of dentistry, the recipient or his estate may, upon certification of the Commissioner, be relieved of the obligation under the contract to engage in dental practice in an underserved area upon repayment to the Commonwealth of the total amount of scholarship funds plus interest on such amount computed at eight percent per annum from the date of receipt of scholarship funds. This obligation may be waived in whole or in part by the Commissioner in his discretion upon application by the recipient or his estate to the Commissioner with proof of hardship or inability to pay.

F. Except as provided in subsections D and E, any recipient of a scholarship who fails or refuses to fulfill his obligation to practice dentistry in an underserved area for a period of years equal to the number of annual scholarships received shall reimburse the Commonwealth three times the total amount of the scholarship funds received plus interest at the prevailing bank rate for similar amounts of unsecured debt. If the recipient has fulfilled part of his contractual obligations by serving in an underserved area, the total amount of the scholarship funds received shall be reduced by the amount of the annual scholarship multiplied by the number of years served.

G. The Commissioner shall collect all repayments required by this section and may establish a schedule of payments for reimbursement consistent with the regulations of the Board. No schedule of payments shall amortize the total amount due for a period of longer than two years following the completion of the recipient's postgraduate training or the recipient's entrance into the full-time practice of dentistry, whichever is later. All such funds, including any interest thereon, shall be used only for the purposes of this section and shall not revert to the general fund. If any recipient fails to make any payment when and as due, the Commissioner shall notify the Attorney General. The Attorney General shall take such action as he deems proper. In the event court action is required to collect a delinquent scholarship account, the recipient shall be responsible for the court costs and reasonable attorneys' fees incurred by the Commonwealth in such collection.

H. For purposes of this section, the term "underserved area" shall include those underserved areas designated by the Board pursuant to § 32.1-122.5 and dental health professional shortage areas designated in accordance with the criteria established in 42 C.F.R. Part 5.

1994, c. 867; 2000, c. 926; 2001, c. 188; 2002, c. 52.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.