Forgiving Loans for Healthcare Workers & Food Insecurity Crisis

May 23, 2024

The state is introducing a new initiative to help healthcare workers pay off as much as $50,000 of their student loans. Please read below to find out who is eligible and how to apply for this special loan repayment program.

Higher prices at the grocery store are causing problems across Connecticut. 90,000 more people in our state are considered food insecure since 2022. I'll break down some of the staggering statistics and the plan to address this issue.

West Hartford is honoring veterans who lost their lives defending our country on Memorial Day. Please keep scrolling to learn where you can attend a parade and pay your respects.

You are invited to a community resource event that I will be hosting to learn what important services and programs are available in our community. I'll dig deeper into when and where that family fair is taking place. 
These are the sections in today's email:

  • Forgiving Student Loans for Healthcare Workers
  • Food Insecurity Crisis Getting Worse
  • Memorial Day Parade in West Hartford 
  • Join Me for a Community Resource Event
Forgiving Student Loans for Healthcare Workers

The state is launching a new program to help healthcare workers pay off student loans. The Connecticut Student Loan Repayment Program will offer up to $50,000 in student loan repayments to eligible healthcare providers. To receive that benefit, a healthcare worker must practice full-time in underserved communities for at least two years. Part-time options are also available for $12,500 per year over two years, totaling $25,000.

This Connecticut Student Loan Repayment Program offers a distinct advantage over federal loan repayment programs because it allows for both federal and private student loan debt to be repaid, making it a more comprehensive solution for healthcare providers with diverse educational debt.

The following healthcare jobs are eligible for this new statewide initiative:

  • MDs and DOs in Family Practice, General Practice, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, OB/GYN
  • APRNs, including Certified Nurse Midwives, Nurse Practitioners, and Psychiatric Nurse Specialists
  • Physician Assistants
  • Registered Nurses
  • Dentists and Dental Hygienists
  • Psychiatrists, Psychologists, and Core Behavioral Health Providers, including Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, Licensed Professional Counselors, and Substance Use Disorder Counselors
  • Pharmacists

The Connecticut Student Loan Repayment Program is a tool to recruit and retain our healthcare heroes. It also represents a step toward reducing health disparities across our state.
The state began accepting applications this week.

Click Here to Learn How to Apply
Food Insecurity Crisis Getting Worse

There is a sudden spike in hunger and food insecurity in Connecticut and around the country. Higher prices on food are a major financial strain for many individuals and families in Hartford and West Hartford.

According to Feeding America, 468,150 people in Connecticut are food insecure, which is 90,000 more people since the last study in 2022. The most alarming data shows there is a 34% spike in the number of children who are food insecure.

Feeding America’s “Map the Meal Gap” shows a disturbing trend in Connecticut:

  • 1 in 8 residents is food insecure, compared to 1 in 10 last year
  • 1 in 6 children is food insecure
  • 1 in 4 Black persons is food insecure
  • 1 in 4 Hispanic persons is food insecure
  • 1 in 11 White non-Hispanic persons is food insecure
Read the Entire Report

The Connecticut General Assembly is trying to tackle this issue head on. This year, I co-sponsored House Bill 5011, which would have contributed more state funding for nutrition assistance. The measure would have provided $10 million to Connecticut Foodshare for the Connecticut Nutrition Assistance Program (CT-NAP) and 15% of that would have gone to farmers in Connecticut for the food they grow. CT-NAP directly affects the well-being of countless individuals, families, and businesses in our state.

My colleagues and I plan to file the bill again during the next legislative session, which starts in January. Our residents deserve nothing less.

Memorial Day Parade in West Hartford
The community is going to honor and remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country. West Hartford is hosting its Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 27 at 10:00 A.M. at Woodrow Street and Farmington Avenue. All veterans are welcome to march in the parade, which will end at Town Hall. Mike Cabrey will serve as Grand Marshall. He is a retired U.S. Army Colonel with 30 years of Active Duty service.
After the parade, a ceremony will be held at Veterans Memorial at North Main Street and Farmington Avenue. This tradition ensures that our heroes will never be forgotten.
Join Me for a Community Resource Event

I am proud to host the community event to educate the public on the free resources, programs, and services available to them. The First Family Resource Fair will be held Saturday, June 15 from 11 A.M. – 2 P.M. at Maria Reina de la Paz church on New Britain Avenue.

Officials from hospitals, state agencies, and other organizations will share critical information that can help individuals and families. You will also get to meet some of my colleagues as we serve food and play music! I hope to see you there on June 15!

Estoy orgulloso de organizar el evento comunitario para educar al público sobre los recursos, programas y servicios gratuitos disponibles para ellos. La Primera Feria de Recursos para la Familia se llevará a cabo el sábado 15 de junio de 11 A.M. a 2 P.M. en la iglesia María Reina de la Paz en New Britain Avenue.

Oficiales de hospitales, agencias estatales y otras organizaciones compartirán información crucial que puede ayudar a individuos y familias. ¡También tendrás la oportunidad de conocer a algunos de mis colegas mientras servimos comida y tocamos música! ¡Espero verte allí el 15 de junio!