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Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association announces the launch of The Kentucky Rural Veterinary Loan Repayment Program to address rural veterinary shortages

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association (KVMA) is proud to announce the launch of The Kentucky Rural Veterinary Loan Repayment Program (KRVLRP), a groundbreaking initiative aimed at addressing the critical shortage of veterinary professionals in rural and underserved communities across Kentucky. The Kentucky General Assembly passed HB553, and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture will help jointly fund this program.  The Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA) is the state agency charged with administration of the program.”

Representative Matthew Koch who was the primary sponsor of HB553 states – “We have had a veterinarian working group looking at our shortage issues for the past 3 years.  We’ve identified several different approaches, but the rural vet loan repayment program has been proven to work and will make an immediate impact in our shortage areas. For this to work it must be a team effort between the community, the veterinarian, and the KDA. Anyone approved for this program is eligible to receive $87,500 in loan repayments in just five years.  With an average debt load of $180,000, this should provide incentive for veterinarians who want to practice on livestock.”

In many rural areas, access to veterinary care is limited, leading to challenges in maintaining the health and well-being of livestock, pets, and other animals. The KRVLRP seeks to alleviate this issue by incentivizing recent veterinary graduates to practice in rural areas through a loan repayment assistance program.

Key features of the Veterinary Loan Repayment Program include:

  • Loan Repayment Assistance: Eligible veterinarians who commit to practicing in designated rural or underserved areas for a specified period will receive financial assistance to repay their student loans.
  • Placement Support: The program will work closely with participating veterinarians to match them with communities in need of their services, considering their preferences and areas of expertise.
  • Professional Development: Participants will have access to ongoing training, mentorship, and support to enhance their skills and knowledge in rural veterinary practice.

Dr. Ben Redmon – KVMA President states, “By providing debt relief to veterinarians practicing in rural Kentucky, the KVLRP’s goal is to improve access to essential veterinary services for animal owners while strengthening local economies when these veterinarians are incorporated into their communities. Our hope is that it enhances the overall quality of life for residents and improves animal health across the Commonwealth.”

Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association is committed to supporting the veterinary workforce and ensuring that all communities have access to quality veterinary care. We encourage recent veterinary graduates and actively working veterinarians to learn more about the Kentucky Rural Veterinary Loan Repayment Program.

For further information about the program or links to the application, please visit the KVMA Website. The application will be available June 1st.

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