Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 32.1. Health
Chapter 4. Health Care Planning
12/7/2022

Article 6. Primary Health Care System.

§ 32.1-122.5. Criteria to identify underserved areas.

The Board of Health shall establish criteria to identify medically underserved areas within the Commonwealth. These criteria shall consist of quantifiable measures sensitive to the unique characteristics of urban and rural jurisdictions which may include the incidence of infant mortality, the availability of primary care resources, poverty levels, and other measures indicating the inadequacy of the primary health care system as determined by the Board. The Board shall also include in these criteria the need for medical care services in the state facilities operated by the Departments of Corrections, Juvenile Justice, and Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.

1990, cc. 874, 877; 2009, cc. 813, 840.

§ 32.1-122.5:1. Conditional grants for certain medical students.

A. With such funds as are appropriated for this purpose, the Board of Health shall establish, in addition to the scholarships established pursuant to § 32.1-122.6, annual medical scholarships for students who (i) intend to enter one of the designated specialties of family practice medicine, general internal medicine, pediatrics, and obstetrics/gynecology and (ii) commit to practicing in a medically underserved area of Southwest Virginia. Such scholarships shall be awarded to students in good standing at the Quillen School of Medicine of East Tennessee State University, with preference being given to bona fide residents of Virginia, as determined by § 23.1-502 and specifically for bona fide residents of Southwest Virginia. The Board of Health shall request the governing board of East Tennessee State University to submit to the Commissioner the names of those eligible applicants who are most qualified as determined by the regulations of the Board for these medical scholarships. The Commissioner shall award the scholarships to applicants whose names are submitted by the governing board.

B. The provisions of § 32.1-122.6 and all regulations of the Board promulgated pursuant to § 32.1-122.6 shall apply to the award of the scholarships established herein and to the applicants for and recipients of such scholarships. In addition to the regulations established pursuant to § 32.1-122.6, the Board shall define Southwest Virginia by designating Planning Districts one, two, and three as those jurisdictions in which eligible students shall be required to serve.

1992, c. 358; 1994, c. 281.

§ 32.1-122.6. Conditional grants for certain medical students.

A. With such funds as are appropriated for this purpose, the Board of Health shall establish annual medical scholarships for students who intend to enter the designated specialties of family practice medicine, general internal medicine, pediatrics, and obstetrics/gynecology and who are in good standing at a medical school in the United States that has received accreditation or provisional accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education or the Bureau of Professional Education of the American Osteopathic Association. 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.

B. The Board shall promulgate regulations to administer this scholarship program that shall include:

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 these scholarships increase access to primary health care for individuals who are indigent or who are recipients of public assistance;

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

5. Assurances that scholarship recipients will begin medical practice in one of the designated specialties 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 medical school or who fail to honor the obligation to engage in medical 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 medical schools.

C. Prior to the award of any scholarship, the applicant shall sign a contract in which he agrees to engage continuously in one of the designated specialties of medical 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 medical practice such as military service or public health service may be substituted for the obligation to practice in one of the designated specialties 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 physicians 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 in one of the designated specialties 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 medical 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 medical 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 medicine, the recipient or his estate may, upon certification of the Commissioner, be relieved of the obligation under the contract to engage in medical 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 medicine in one of the designated specialties 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 in one of the designated specialties, 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 medicine, 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 attorney fees incurred by the Commonwealth in such collection.

H. For purposes of this section, the term "underserved area" includes 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.

1990, cc. 874, 877; 1991, c. 134; 1994, cc. 281, 867; 2000, c. 926; 2001, c. 188; 2002, cc. 87, 478; 2015, c. 532.

§ 32.1-122.6:01. Board of Health to award certain scholarships and loan repayment funds.

A. The Board of Health shall award to eligible part-time and full-time students the nursing scholarships available from the Nursing Scholarship and Loan Repayment Fund established in § 54.1-3011.2 pursuant to the procedures for the administration of the scholarships awarded through § 23.1-614.

Eligible part-time and full-time students shall be bona fide residents of Virginia as determined by § 23.1-502, shall be enrolled in or accepted for enrollment in nursing education programs preparing them for examination for licensure as practical nurses or registered nurses, and shall also meet such other criteria as may be established by the Board of Health. Prior to awarding any scholarship, the Board of Health shall require the recipient to agree to perform a period of nursing service in this Commonwealth for each scholarship. The Board may establish variable periods of service as conditions for receipt of scholarships according to the amounts of the awards. In the event that fees are collected pursuant to § 54.1-3011.1, the Board shall award the scholarships funded through such fees to practical nurses and registered nurses in proportion to the funds generated by the fees for licensure from such nurses.

Eligibility for these scholarships shall be limited to a total of four academic years. The scholarships shall be awarded on a competitive basis, considering the financial needs of the applicant, and all such funds shall be used only for payment of charges for tuition, fees, room, board, or other educational expenses as prescribed by the Board of Health.

The Board of Health shall submit the names of the scholarship recipients to the Board of Nursing, which shall be responsible for transmission of the funds to the appropriate institution to be credited to the account of the recipient.

B. The Board shall establish a nursing scholarship and loan repayment program for registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and certified nurse aides who agree to perform a period of service in a Commonwealth long-term care facility pursuant to regulations promulgated by the Board in cooperation with the Board of Nursing. The Board shall submit the names of the scholarship and loan repayment recipients to the Board of Nursing, which shall be responsible for transmission of the funds to the appropriate educational or financial institution to be credited to the account of the recipient.

1. The nursing scholarships authorized by this subsection shall be awarded to eligible part-time and full-time students who are bona fide residents of Virginia as determined by § 23.1-502 and who are (a) accepted for enrollment or are enrolled in approved nursing education programs preparing them for examination for licensure as practical nurses or registered nurses or (b) accepted for enrollment or enrolled in approved nurse aide education programs preparing them for certification as authorized in Chapter 30 (§ 54.1-3000 et seq.) of Title 54.1. Prior to awarding any scholarship, the Board shall require the recipient to agree to perform a period of nursing service in a long-term care facility in the Commonwealth for each scholarship. The Board may establish variable periods of service according to the amount of the award in a long-term care facility as a condition for receipt of a scholarship.

Eligibility for these scholarships shall be limited to a total of four academic years. The scholarships shall be awarded on a competitive basis, considering the financial needs of the applicant, and all such funds shall be used only for payment of charges for tuition, fees, room, board, or other educational expenses as prescribed by the Board.

2. The nursing loan repayment program authorized by this subsection shall be established for registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and certified nurse aides who: (a) are bona fide residents of Virginia as determined by § 23.1-502, (b) have graduated from an approved educational program pursuant to Chapter 30 (§ 54.1-3000 et seq.) of Title 54.1, and (c) meet such other criteria as determined by the Board. Prior to awarding any funds, the Board shall require the recipient to agree to perform a period of nursing service in a long-term care facility in the Commonwealth as a condition for loan repayment according to the amount of the award.

1991, c. 669; 2000, cc. 240, 254; 2002, c. 290.

§ 32.1-122.6:02. Conditional grants for certain nurse practitioner students.

A. The Board of Health shall establish annual nursing scholarships for students who intend to enter an accredited nurse practitioner or nurse midwife 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 nursing scholarship committee.

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

1. Qualifications of applicants;

2. Criteria for award of the scholarship to assure that a recipient will fulfill the practice obligations established in this section;

3. Standards to assure 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 nurse practitioner or nurse midwife in an underserved area of the Commonwealth within two years following completion of training;

6. Designations that students in nurse practitioner specialties, including nurse midwife, receive priority scholarships;

7. 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 nurse practitioner or nurse midwife for a period of years equal to the number of annual scholarships received;

8. 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

9. Methods for reporting data related to the recipients of the scholarships.

C. Until such time as a fully accredited nurse midwife 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.

D. 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.

E. Any scholarship amounts repaid by recipients pursuant to subdivision B 7, and any interest thereon, shall be used only for the purposes of this section and shall not revert to the general fund.

1993, cc. 197, 337; 2000, c. 926; 2001, c. 188.

§ 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.

§ 32.1-122.6:04. Nurse Loan Repayment Program.

A. With such funds as are appropriated for this purpose, the Board shall establish a tuition loan repayment program for licensed practical nurses, licensed registered nurses, or certified nurse aides who meet criteria determined by the Board. The Commissioner shall act as the fiscal agent for the Board in administration of these funds. Prior to awarding any funds, the Board shall require the recipient to agree to perform a period of nursing service in this Commonwealth.

B. The Board shall promulgate regulations for the implementation and administration of the Nurse Loan Repayment Program. Applications for participation in the program shall be accepted from graduates of nursing education programs that prepare them for examination for licensure as a practical nurse or registered nurse or certification as a certified nurse aide, but preference shall be given to graduates of nursing education programs located in the Commonwealth.

C. Any loan repayment amounts repaid by recipients who fail to honor the obligation to perform a period of nursing service in the Commonwealth required by this section, and any interest thereon, shall be used only for the purposes of this section and shall not revert to the general fund.

2001, c. 188; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 238.

§ 32.1-122.6:1. Physician Loan Repayment Program.

A. With such funds as are appropriated for this purpose, the Board of Health shall establish a physician loan repayment program for graduates of accredited medical schools who have a specialty in the primary care areas of family practice medicine, general internal medicine, pediatrics, and obstetrics/gynecology, or who are currently employed in a geriatrics fellowship, and who meet other criteria as determined by the Board. The Commissioner shall act as the fiscal agent for the Board in administration of these funds. Prior to awarding any funds, the Board shall require the recipient to agree to perform a period of medical service in the Commonwealth in a medically underserved area as defined in § 32.1-122.5 or a health professional shortage area designated in accordance with the criteria established in 42 C.F.R. Part 5, or, in the case of graduates of accredited medical schools who are currently employed in a geriatrics fellowship, the Board shall require the recipient to agree to perform, at minimum, a two-year period of medical service in the Commonwealth.

B. The Board shall promulgate regulations for the implementation of the Physician Loan Repayment Program. Applications for participation in the program will be accepted from a graduate of any accredited medical school, but preference will be given to graduates of medical schools located in the Commonwealth.

C. Any loan repayment amounts repaid by recipients who fail to honor the obligation to perform a period of medical service in an underserved area or a two-year period as required by this section, and any interest thereon, shall be used only for the purposes of this section and shall not revert to the general fund.

1994, c. 111; 2000, c. 926; 2001, c. 188; 2013, c. 255.

§ 32.1-122.7. Virginia Health Workforce Development Authority; purpose.

A. There is hereby created as a public body corporate and as a political subdivision of the Commonwealth the Virginia Health Workforce Development Authority (the Authority), with such public and corporate powers as are set forth in § 32.1-122.7:2. The Authority is hereby constituted as a public instrumentality, exercising public and essential governmental functions with the power and purpose to provide for the health, welfare, convenience, knowledge, benefit, and prosperity of the residents of the Commonwealth and such other persons who might be served by the Authority. The Authority is established to move the Commonwealth forward in achieving its vision of ensuring a quality health workforce for all Virginians.

B. The mission of the Authority is to facilitate the development of a statewide health professions pipeline that identifies, educates, recruits, and retains a diverse, appropriately geographically distributed, and culturally competent quality workforce. The mission of the Authority is accomplished by: (i) providing the statewide infrastructure required for health workforce needs assessment and planning that maintains engagement by health professions training programs in decision making and program implementation; (ii) serving as the advisory board and setting priorities for the Virginia Area Health Education Centers Program; (iii) coordinating with and serving as a resource to relevant state, regional, and local entities, including the Department of Health Professions Workforce Data Center, the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission, the Joint Commission on Health Care, the Southwest Virginia Health Authority, or any similar regional health authority that may be developed; (iv) informing state and local policy development as it pertains to health care delivery, training, and education; (v) identifying and promoting evidence-based strategies for health workforce pipeline development and interdisciplinary health care service models, particularly those affecting rural and other underserved areas; (vi) supporting communities in their health workforce recruitment and retention efforts and developing partnerships and promoting models of participatory engagement with business and community-based and social organizations to foster integration of health care training and education; (vii) advocating for programs that will result in reducing the debt load of newly trained health professionals; (viii) identifying high priority target areas within each region of the Commonwealth and working toward health workforce development initiatives that improve health measurably in those areas; (ix) fostering or creating innovative health workforce development models that provide both health and economic benefits to the regions they serve; (x) developing strategies to increase diversity in the health workforce by examining demographic data on race and ethnicity in training programs and health professional licensure; (xi) identifying ways to leverage technology to increase access to health workforce training and health care delivery; and (xii) developing a centralized health care careers roadmap in partnership with the Department of Health Professions that includes information on both licensed and unlicensed professions and that is disseminated to the Commonwealth's health care workforce stakeholders to raise awareness about available career pathways.

1990, cc. 874, 877; 1997, c. 329; 2000, c. 480; 2010, cc. 187, 488; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 264.

§ 32.1-122.7:1. Board of Directors of the Virginia Health Workforce Development Authority.

The Virginia Health Workforce Development Authority shall be governed by a Board of Directors. The Board of Directors shall have a total membership of 15 members that shall consist of three legislative members, nine nonlegislative citizen members, and three ex officio members. Members shall be appointed as follows: two members of the House of Delegates, to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Delegates in accordance with the principles of proportional representation contained in the Rules of the House of Delegates; one member of the Senate, to be appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules; and nine nonlegislative citizen members, three of whom shall be representatives of health professional educational or training programs, five of whom shall be health professionals or employers or representatives of health professionals, and one of whom shall be a representative of community health, to be appointed by the Governor. The Commissioner of Health or his designee, the Chancellor of the Virginia Community College System or his designee, and the Director of the Department of Health Professions or his designee shall serve ex officio with voting privileges. Members appointed by the Governor shall be citizens of the Commonwealth.

Legislative members and ex officio members shall serve terms coincident with their terms of office. All appointments of nonlegislative citizen members shall be for two-year terms following the initial staggering of terms. Appointments to fill vacancies, other than by expiration of a term, shall be for the unexpired terms. Legislative and citizen members may be reappointed; however, no citizen member shall serve more than four consecutive two-year terms. The remainder of any term to which a member is appointed to fill a vacancy shall not constitute a term in determining the member's term limit. Vacancies shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointments.

The Board of Directors shall elect a chairman and vice-chairman annually from among its members. A majority of the members of the Board of Directors shall constitute a quorum.

The Board of Directors shall report biennially on the activities and recommendations of the Authority to the Secretary of Health and Human Resources, the Secretary of Education, the Secretary of Commerce and Trade, the Chief Workforce Development Advisor, the State Board of Health, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, the Joint Commission on Health Care, the Governor, and the General Assembly. In any reporting period where state general funds are appropriated to the Authority, the report shall include a detailed summary of how state general funds were expended.

The accounts and records of the Authority showing the receipt and disbursement of funds from whatever source derived shall be in a form prescribed by the Auditor of Public Accounts. The Auditor of Public Accounts, or his legally authorized representative, shall examine the accounts of the Authority as determined necessary by the Auditor of Public Accounts. The cost of such audit shall be borne by the Authority.

2010, cc. 187, 488; 2014, c. 720; 2018, cc. 57, 307; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 264.

§ 32.1-122.7:2. Powers and duties of the Virginia Health Workforce Development Authority; exemptions.

A. The Authority is authorized to serve as the incorporated consortium of allopathic and osteopathic medical schools in Virginia as required by federal statute to qualify for the receipt of Area Health Education Centers programs, legislatively mandated under the Public Health Service Act as amended, Title VII, Section 751, and 42 U.S.C. § 294a, and to administer federal, state, and local programs as needed to carry out its public purpose and objectives. The Authority is further authorized to exercise independently the powers conferred by this section in furtherance of its corporate and public purposes to benefit citizens and such other persons who might be served by the Authority.

B. The Authority is authorized to monitor, collect, and track data pertaining to health care delivery, training, and education from Virginia educational institutions and other entities as needed to carry out its public purpose and objectives in areas where such data efforts do not already exist.

C. The Authority shall have the authority to assess policies, engage in policy development, and make policy recommendations.

D. The Authority shall have the authority to apply for and accept federal, state, and local public and private grants, loans, appropriations, and donations; hire and compensate staff, including an executive director; rent, lease, buy, own, acquire, and dispose of property, real or personal; participate in joint ventures, including to make contracts and other agreements with public and private entities in order to carry out its public purpose and objectives; and make bylaws for the management and regulation of its affairs.

E. The Authority shall be exempt from the provisions of Chapters 29 (§ 2.2-2900 et seq.) and 43 (§ 2.2-4300 et seq.) of Title 2.2.

F. The exercise of powers granted by this article and the undertaking of activities in the furtherance of the purpose of the Authority shall constitute the performance of essential governmental functions. Therefore, the Authority shall be exempt from any tax or assessment upon any project or property acquired or used by the Authority under the provisions of this article or upon the income therefrom, including sales and use taxes on tangible personal property used in the operation of the Authority. This exemption shall not extend to persons conducting business for which local or state taxes would otherwise be required.

2010, cc. 187, 488.

§ 32.1-122.8. Board's authority to receive and expend funds.

The Board of Health is hereby authorized to apply for, receive, and expend federal and any other available funds for the enhancement of the primary health care system including, but not limited to, any funds designated for any physician loan repayment program, medical scholarships, and area health education centers.

1990, cc. 874, 877.

§ 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.

§ 32.1-122.9:1. Dentist Loan Repayment Program.

A. With such funds as are appropriated for this purpose, the Board shall establish a dentist loan repayment program for graduates of accredited dental schools who meet the criteria determined by the Board. The Commissioner shall act as the fiscal agent for the Board in administration of these funds. Prior to awarding any funds, the Board shall require the recipient to agree to perform a period of dental service in this Commonwealth in an underserved area as defined in § 32.1-122.5 or a dental health professional shortage area designated in accordance with the criteria established in 42 C.F.R. Part 5. The Board also shall ensure that recipients (i) 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 (ii) do not limit the number of persons enrolled in these programs who are admitted to their dental practice.

B. Applications for participation in the program will be accepted from a graduate of any accredited dental school, but preference will be given to graduates of Virginia Commonwealth University's School of Dentistry.

C. Any loan repayment amounts repaid by recipients who fail to honor the obligation to perform a period of dental service in an underserved area as required by this section, and any interest thereon, shall be used only for the purposes of this section and shall not revert to the general fund.

2000, cc. 174, 202; 2001, c. 188; 2002, c. 52.

§ 32.1-122.10. Conditional grants for certain dental hygiene students.

A. The Board of Health shall establish annual dental hygiene scholarships for students who intend to enter an accredited dental hygiene program in the Commonwealth. 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.

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

1. Qualifications of applicants;

2. Criteria for award of the scholarship to assure that a recipient will fulfill the practice obligations established in this section;

3. Standards to assure that these scholarships increase access to dental hygiene 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, students of economically disadvantaged backgrounds 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 dental hygienist 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 dental hygienist 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. 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.

D. 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.

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