Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 32.1. Health
Chapter 4. Health Care Planning

§ 32.1-122.6:03. Conditional grants for certain physician assistant students.

A. The Board of Health shall establish annual physician assistant scholarships for students who intend to enter an accredited physician assistant program in designated schools. The amounts and numbers 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 program through a physician assistant scholarship committee.

B. To administer the scholarship program, the Board shall promulgate regulations that shall include, but are not limited to:

1. Qualifications of applicants;

2. Criteria for awarding the scholarship to ensure that a recipient will fulfill the practice obligations established in this section;

3. Standards to ensure that these scholarships increase access to primary health care for individuals who are indigent or who are recipients of public assistance;

4. Assurances that residents of Virginia, as determined by § 23.1-502, minority students and residents of medically underserved areas are given preference in determining scholarship eligibility and awards;

5. Assurances that a scholarship recipient will practice as a physician assistant in an underserved area of the Commonwealth within two years following completion of training;

6. Methods for reimbursement to the Commonwealth by a recipient who fails to complete the educational program or who fails to honor the obligation to engage in practice as a physician assistant 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. Methods for reporting data related to the recipients of the scholarships.

C. Prior to promulgating any regulation establishing any preferences noted in subdivision B 4, the Board shall issue written findings stating the bases for its decisions that any such preferences provided by the regulation comply with constitutional principles of equal protection.

D. Until such time as a fully accredited physician assistant education program is established at any health science center in the Commonwealth, the Board may designate that attendance at an accredited program in a nearby state is acceptable for scholarship eligibility.

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

F. Any scholarship amounts repaid by recipients pursuant to subdivision B 6, and any interest thereon, shall be used only for the purposes of this section and shall not revert to the general fund.

1997, c. 806; 2000, c. 926; 2001, c. 188.

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.