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Rural Health Information Hub

Kentucky Behavioral Health Workforce Initiative

This funding record is inactive. Please see the program website or contact the program sponsor to determine if this program is currently accepting applications or will open again in the future.

Kentucky Office of Rural Health, University of Kentucky Center of Excellence in Rural Health
Aug 1, 2022

The Kentucky Behavioral Health Workforce Initiative (KBHWI) is a loan repayment program to help alleviate the shortage of behavioral health professionals practicing in Kentucky. Selected applicants are required to commit to working full time for 2 years at an eligible site.


Eligible applicants include behavioral and mental health specialists including physicians, social workers, counselors, psychologists, therapists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, psychiatric nurse specialists, and alcohol and substance use disorder counselors.

Additional eligibility requirements include:
  • Be a U.S. citizen (either U.S. born or naturalized) or U.S. national and live in Kentucky
  • Have been trained and licensed to provide direct patient care in one of the program's eligible disciplines and specialties
  • Have a current, full, permanent, unencumbered, unrestricted professional license, certificate, or registration in Kentucky in the discipline in which they are applying to serve
  • Be employed at an eligible practice site, or have accepted an offer of employment at an eligible site where service will begin no later than January 1, 2023
  • Work in a Mental Health Professional Shortage Area (MHPSA)
  • Practice full time, as defined by a minimum of 40 hours per week for a minimum of 45 weeks per year, providing primary care health services at an eligible site
  • Participate or be eligible to participate as a provider in the Medicare, Medicaid, and Children's Health Insurance Programs, as appropriate
Geographic coverage
Amount of funding

Participants must have a 1:1 match from a sponsor source. Sponsors can include the participant's employer at their practice site, private foundations, corporations, community organizations, philanthropies, and rurally-oriented organizations requesting that their funds be used to support the placement of practitioners in rural areas.

Total loan repayment awards can range from $20,000-$50,000 a year, based on provider type, level of loan indebtedness, and sponsor commitment level.

Application process

Links to additional guidance, application instructions, and the application are available on the program website.

Email completed applications in a single pdf file to

Tagged as
Behavioral health · Behavioral health workforce · Loans, loan repayment, and loan forgiveness for health careers · Primary care · Kentucky

Organizations (2)

  • University of Kentucky Center of Excellence in Rural Health, view details
  • Kentucky Office of Rural Health, view details

For complete information about funding programs, including your application status, please contact funders directly. Summaries are provided for your convenience only. RHIhub does not take part in application processes or monitor application status.