Rural medical program expansion OK’d by Nevada Interim Finance Committee |

Rural medical program expansion OK’d by Nevada Interim Finance Committee

The Interim Finance Committee on Tuesday approved receipt of a $170,000 grant to expand the program that repays education loans to medical students who agree to serve rural areas.

Brian Mitchell, director of the Office of Science, Innovation and Technology, said the grant from the William N. Pennington Foundation will leverage an equal amount of federal money, enabling the Office of Rural Health to add an additional nine students to the program. Those health care professionals will agree to serve rural communities for a minimum of two years.

Gerald Ackerman of the state Office of Rural Health said those students will serve in Clark, Elko, Washoe, Lincoln, Churchill counties and Carson City and include a wide variety of professions including dentists, pharmacists, clinical social workers, registered nurses, psychologists and doctors.

In addition, lawmakers approved the transfer of $427,612 to the credit card discount fees category to cover credit card fees within the Secretary of State’s office for the rest of this fiscal year. The state pays those fees instead of passing them on to businesses that pay their different fees and licenses using a credit card. The other agency that generates a large amount of credit card fee costs is the Department of Motor Vehicles.

In addition, Interim Finance members gave state Parks permission to spend $175,000 to upgrade fiber optic and other cabling to improve service at Sand Harbor State Park at Lake Tahoe. They were told the improvements will, among other things, improve Internet reception at the park.