Magazine article Islamic Horizons

New Orleans Incentives

Magazine article Islamic Horizons

New Orleans Incentives

Article excerpt

Physicians and healthcare professionals are being offered incentives to relocate to the New Orleans area with a $15 million U.S. Department of Health and Human Services grant. The grant (www.pcrh.dhh.louisiana.gov), in amounts of up to $110,000, will be disbursed by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.

The payments may be used to cover student and other loan repayments, given as sign-on bonuses, or used toward malpractice premium payments, relocation expenses, health information technology, continuing education expenses, and income guarantees. Physicians and dentists may receive up to $110,000, mid-level providers up to $55,000, and pharmacists up to $50,000. Incentive packages may include up to $110,000 in loan repayment guarantees, $40,000 for sign-on bonuses or malpractice premium payments, and $20,000 for relocation expenses.

New Orleans psychiatry resident Dr. A. Majid Khan points out: "This is an exceptional opportunity for Muslims who may have had to take loans to get through the years of education necessary to enter these professions. For example, according to recent figures, the average medical student graduates with approximately $100,000 in student loans, in addition to $10,000 of credit card debt. Often times, there are no options for scholarships and grants in professional schools, as there may be during their undergraduate years. Thus, many young Muslims must chose between an education and debt.

"Another benefit of this program over the rural service loan repayment track is the benefit of being in a large metropolitan area, with a large Muslim community that supports more than a half dozen mosques and two full-time Muslim elementary schools. …

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