Who's next for student loan help in Mass.? Nearly 3,000 health care workers

Boston Children’s Hospital staff prepare to conduct a gene therapy simulation in the MRI/operating room. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Boston Children’s Hospital staff prepare to conduct a gene therapy simulation in the MRI/operating room. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Editor's Note: This is an excerpt from WBUR's daily morning newsletter, WBUR Today. If you like what you read and want it in your inbox, sign up here

It’s always a good weekend when the Red Sox sweep the Yankees. Here’s what the week has in store:

Federal student loan forgiveness may be (mostly) scuttled, but thousands of health care workers in Massachusetts are in for some major support. This morning, Gov. Maura Healey’s administration will announce $140 million in relief for nearly 3,000 primary care and behavioral health providers. Healey’s administration says the “MA Repay” program is part of its effort to strengthen the battered health care workforce. And thanks to additional funding in the new state budget, everyone who applied (and was eligible) this past winter will get some amount of money.

  • Who specifically can get relief? Eligible recipients include a wide range of practices: doctors, nurses, mental health counselors, substance use recovery coaches and case managers.
  • How much? The amounts vary by field. For example, nurses can get up to $50,000, while psychiatrists can get up to $300,000.
  • What’s the catch? In exchange for loan repayment, each recipient has to work for at least four years in their field at one of the state’s approved organizations.

Rep. Stephen Lynch is on the hot seat after The Boston Globe reported Sunday that the South Boston congressman won over $3 million dollars in federal earmarks for groups with which his wife is involved. Two million went to his wife’s employer, the South Boston Community Health Center, and another million went to the Gavin Foundation, an addiction treatment nonprofit where she’s an unpaid board member.

  • Lynch told the Globe the earmarks have no impact on his wife’s salary, and they do not violate congressional rules.
  • However, ethics experts said the situation underscores shortfalls of congressional guidelines since the return of earmarks. The Globe reports “no other single entity” has gotten as many earmarks from Lynch during his time in Congress as the aforementioned two groups.

Rhode Island’s Block Island has reopened to visitors after a fire tore through the historic Harborside Inn this weekend. Officials declared a state of emergency, and visitors were originally asked to stay away from the island due to limited water and lack of electricity from the damage.

Patriots rookie cornerback Isaiah Bolden has been released from the hospital. He was carted off the field after a scary collision during a preseason game Saturday night against the Green Bay Packers.

  • Bolden’s fourth-quarter injury led the Patriots and Packers to mutually agree to call off the rest of the game, and the Patriots subsequently canceled joint practices planned this week with the Tennessee Titans. They’ll play their final preseason game Friday.

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Nik DeCosta-Klipa Newsletter Editor
Nik DeCosta-Klipa is the newsletter editor for WBUR.



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