Scholars for a Healthy Oregon—Naturopathic Physician Opportunities (SHONPO)

About

The funds for Scholars for a Healthy Oregon (SHONPO) were made available by the Oregon Legislature and the Oregon Health Authority in 2017.  The intent is to provide scholarships to students who will provide care in underserved areas of Oregon as determined by the Oregon Health Authority.

The scholarships are available to Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine students making a commitment to serve Oregon’s communities in high need of primary care.

SHONPO funds cover the full ND program tuition for the remaining years that recipients are enrolled in the ND program at NUNM (up to $35,000 per year).

Eligibility

These scholarships are available to students who will be entering their third year or above in the ND program (can be dually enrolled in any other program).

An exceptionally strong and focused application from a student entering second year will be considered. Students entering their second year who intend to apply should contact Tafflyn Williams-Thomas prior to submitting an application.

How to Apply

Applicants must complete the SHOPNO application, including the four essay questions provided. Essays have a 500-word maximum, each.

ESSAY 1

Describe how your professional goals align with work in a high need area for primary care in Oregon as defined in the “Oregon Areas of Unmet Health Care Need Report.” Refer to map on page 6.

ESSAY 2

Describe the ways that you would work with a rural community to help them understand the benefits of a naturopathic doctor as a primary care physician.

ESSAY 3

Describe the practice location characteristics and the population you plan to serve in the future as a healthcare professional.

ESSAY 4

What attributes and/or experience do you have that demonstrates your commitment to these communities and your ability to successfully fulfill your service commitment as a designated service site?

Review

All applications will be reviewed by NUNM’s scholarship review committee and a member of the ND Department staff.

Service Agreement

While at NUNM, students must:

  • Maintain good academic standing to receive ongoing funding.
  • Serve as an ambassador for the Health Care Provider Incentive Program.
  • Complete an additional project, if requested by the Oregon Health Authority.

Individuals who are awarded a scholarship will be required to create an action plan annually to develop opportunities for their service in an underserved area of Oregon. The plan must include:

  • Areas with unmet healthcare needs where they would like to practice primary care in Oregon. The current areas can be found here on page 6.
  • Methods of building a network in those areas.
  • Potential employment or practice options in the areas identified.
  • A plan to preceptor with at least one practitioner in an under-served area and one who serves an under-served population.
  • A plan to complete at least three informational interviews to explore employment and practice options that will meet the requirements.
  • The summer of the recipients’ final year they will need to complete either:
    1. A career plan showing employment opportunities at qualifying hospitals or federally qualified health clinics.
    2. A fully actionable business plan, with timelines, that will focus on a practice that meets the criteria described under item “d” of the “work must take place in” section of this document.

Post-Graduation Practice Requirement

Graduates who receive full payment for their ND program tuition (up to $35,000 annually) are to provide primary care in an area that is identified as underserved at the time of graduation.

  • Care must be provided in the underserved part of Oregon equal to the number of years that funds were received plus one year (e.g., two years of scholarship would equal three years of service.)
  • Every effort must be made to start practicing in the area within six months of graduation.
  • The doctor will be required to work full time, 32 hours of direct patient care per week for a minimum of 45 weeks per year, if they have received full payment for their ND program tuition (up to $35,000 annually).

Work must take place in:

  • A rural hospital as defined in ORS 442.470 serving Medicaid and Medicare patients in no less than the same proportion of such patients in the county or other service area as determined by the Authority; up to a maximum requirement of 50 percent of patient mix for Medicare and Medicaid combined, of which 25 percent is Medicaid.
  • A federally certified rural health clinic serving Medicaid and Medicare patients in no less than the same proportion of such patients in the county or service area as determined by the Authority; up to a maximum requirement of 50 percent of patient mix for Medicare and Medicaid combined, of which 25 percent is Medicaid.
  • A federally qualified community health center serving Medicaid and Medicare patients in no less than the same proportion of such patients in the county or other service area as determined by the Authority; up to a maximum requirement of 50 percent of patient mix for Medicare and Medicaid combined, of which 25 percent is Medicaid.
  • A site other than those listed above that:
  1. Provides essential healthcare services to patients in an area approved as a medical Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) as defined by the federal Health Resources and Services Administration, or ranking below the Areas of Unmet Health Care Need median as determined by the Office.
  2. Serves Medicaid patients no less than the same proportion of such patients in the county or other area as determined by the Authority; up to a maximum requirement 50 patient mix for Medicaid, when a majority of service providers are eligible for service reimbursement by this program.
  3. Has a majority of providers at the site eligible for reimbursement for Medicaid and serves patients in no less than the same proportion of such patients in the county or other service area as determined by the Authority.
  4. Any other site providing essential healthcare services to an under-served population as determined by the Authority and serving Medicaid patients in no less than the same proportion of such patients in the county or other service area as determined by the authority; up to a maximum requirement of 50 percent of patient mix.

Failure to Satisfy the Intent of the Service Agreement

A scholarship recipient who fails to complete the minimum service obligation in a qualifying practice site and does not receive a waiver is considered to have breached the terms of the program. The Authority shall impose a penalty on any such provider in an amount up to the sum of:

  1. The total paid from the from the Health Care Provider Incentive Fund to the participant or on behalf of the participant, plus 10 percent interest for failure to complete the recipient’s academic program.
  2. The total paid from the Health Care Provider Incentive Fund to the participant or on behalf of the participant, plus 10 percent interest and a 25 percent penalty on the total award paid to date for failure to complete a service agreement. The Collections Unit in the Oregon Department of Revenue shall collect amounts due under ORS 293.250.
  3. The participant may appeal decisions made by the Authority under the provisions of ORS Chapter 183.