ORS 675.655
Oregon Health Authority duties regarding incentives for recruitment, retention of behavioral health care workforce

  • increase in access to services
  • provider loan forgiveness program
  • rules


The Oregon Health Authority shall provide incentives to increase the recruitment and retention of providers in the behavioral health care workforce with associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees or other credentials who are people of color, tribal members or residents of rural areas in this state and who can provide culturally responsive behavioral health services to:


Tribal members;


People of color;


Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth;




Persons with disabilities;


Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities;


Individuals with limited English proficiency;


Individuals working in correctional facilities; and


Other underserved communities.


The authority shall increase access to services for rural and underserved communities by:


Expanding funding to provide incentives to culturally specific peers, traditional health workers, unlicensed, licensed or certified providers of behavioral health care and licensed prescribers.


Developing programs and providing incentives to increase the number of individuals training for and entering the field of behavioral health and to improve the retention of behavioral health care providers in this state through:


Scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students going into the behavioral health field;


Loan forgiveness and repayment incentives for qualified behavioral health care providers;


Housing assistance;


Sign-on bonuses;


Part-time and flex time opportunities;


Retention bonuses;


Professional development;


Tax subsidies;


Child care subsidies;


Subsidized dual certification with a specific focus on rural and vulnerable populations and pay equity;


Tuition assistance;


Bonuses and stipends for supervisors of interns;


Licensing examination preparation;


Stipends for students enrolled in graduate behavioral health programs; or


Other programs and incentives.


The authority shall develop a program to award qualified mental health care providers student loan forgiveness or student loan repayment subsidies if the qualified mental health care provider commits to two consecutive years of full-time practice in:


A publicly funded or public mental health facility;


A nonprofit mental health facility that contracts with a county to provide mental health services;


A mental health professional shortage area, as defined by the authority by rule; or


Other programs or facilities that serve the communities described in subsection (1) of this section.


The subsidy described in subsection (3) of this section applies to a qualified mental health care provider’s student loans incurred for the educational program that led to the qualified mental health care provider’s licensure or certification as:


A licensed psychologist, as defined in ORS 675.010 (Definitions for ORS 675);


A clinical social worker licensed under ORS 675.530 (License);


A master’s social worker licensed under ORS 675.533 (Licensure for practice of master’s social work);


A clinical social work associate certified under ORS 675.537 (Certification as clinical social work associate);


A licensed marriage and family therapist, as defined in ORS 675.705 (Definitions for ORS 675);


A licensed professional counselor, as defined in ORS 675.705 (Definitions for ORS 675); or


Another type of behavioral health care provider as prescribed by the authority by rule.


The authority may adopt rules to carry out this section. [2021 c.677 §2]
Note: See note under 675.650 (Oregon Health Authority duties regarding behavioral health care workforce training, endorsements, certifications).


Last accessed
May 30, 2023