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Alabama Rural Medical Service Award (ARMSA)

ARMSA gives service-payback loans to primary care physicians (PCPs) and family medicine nurse practitioners (NPs) in return for their practicing in

Alabama rural communities that have a shortage of PCPs. The program is sponsored by the Alabama Department of Public Health’s (ADPH) Office of Primary Care and Rural Health. It was developed by Governor Kay Ivey’s policy office and funded by a legislative act. The award is $50,000 per year for a maximum of 3 years for PCPs and $30,000 per year for a maximum of 3 years for NPs.

Provider Eligibility

The award cycle is annual. ARMSA is available to fully licensed PCPs (family physicians, general practice physicians, internal medicine physicians, pediatricians, and Med-Peds physicians) who have not practiced in the ARMSA service area where they will serve their obligation within 3 years prior to October 1, 2020. The award is available to family medicine certified NPs with 3 years of practice experience in family medicine who have not practiced in the service area where they will serve their obligation within 3 years of October 1, 2020.

Loan Payback Service Requirements

A PCP must practice full-time ambulatory primary care medicine at a location within an ARMSA designated rural primary care service area. A family medicine NP must have and maintain a collaborative practice agreement with a PCP who is practicing ambulatory primary care at a location within the same ARMSA designated rural primary care service area in which he/she is to fulfill his/her service obligation. A contract with ADPH is required. No payment shall be allowed for a PCP or NP who has practiced within 3 years of October 1, 2020, in a primary care service area with a deficit, or surplus of less than 2 PCPs.

Loan Repayment

For a PCP, the loan is repaid through a recipient’s contractual service obligation of full-time practice per year, not to exceed 3 years total, in an ARMSA-approved Alabama primary care service area with a shortage of PCPs. For a family medicine certified NP, the loan is repaid by practicing in a collaborative practice agreement with a PCP who is practicing ambulatory primary care within the same ARMSA-approved primary care service area in which he/she is to fulfill his/her service obligation.

Alabama Rural Medical Awards  

  • ARMSA is administered by ADPH’s Office of Primary Care and Rural Health.
  • The University of Alabama Birmingham School of Medicine Office for Family Health, Education and Research assists the ARMSA effort through identifying the eligible areas and assessing initial eligibility of ARMSA applicants.
  • Find out more by contacting armsa@uabmc.edu.
  • For more information and to view ARMSA primary care rational service areas, visit the Alabama Office of Healthcare Workforce.





Page last updated: March 23, 2022