Alaska’s SHARP Program
SHARP Council Member Statement
AK Commission on Post-Secondary Ed
Joann Rieselbach
Voting Member
Behavioral Healthcare
Hospitals, Clinics & In-Community
Healthcare Workforce Overall
All Healthcare Sites
All Regions of Alaska
Email Address
Occupation Categories
Practice Setting Types
Experience Thus Far
Occupations To-Date
Practitioner Contracts #:
Practice Sites: Examples
Regions Thus Far
SHARP’s Success To-Date
Need for SHARP-3
As the state’s higher education agency, the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary
Education (ACPE) is directly aware of the financial benefits SHARP offers
individuals with high student loan debt from its receipt of payments on behalf of
program participants. SHARP not only provides financial relief through education
loan repayment, it also incentivizes healthcare professionals to work in Alaska in
areas with high healthcare needs. Program data shows SHARP has improved the
recruitment and distribution – and even retention – of healthcare providers in the
The Alaska Dept. of Health & Social Services reports a state shortage of dentists,
general surgeons, psychiatrists, and pediatricians, among other health professions.
Given there are no in-state training programs leading to many of these professions,
it is challenging to recruit and retain healthcare providers to fill the state’s workforce
needs. The challenge is compounded by competition from other states for qualified
practitioners. Stakeholder feedback has confirmed the value of support-for-service
programs. By developing a sustainable loan repayment program, like that proposed
in the SHARP-3 model, Alaska can position itself to not only fill healthcare gaps,
but also address the increasing costs of education and rising student loan debt.