Dr. Robert Sewell, Ph.D. serves as SHARP Program Manager, and has since the program’s inception. This position provides overall program management including budget, ascertains eligibility of both potential practitioners and agency sites, concludes practitioner contracts, assists in recruitment, problem-solves difficulties with placement, and collects data to assess statewide health workforce issues. Dr. Sewell holds a Ph.D. in Behavior Analysis, and serves within the Alaska Primary Care Office. He has served as Project Director for our HRSA BHPr-funded planning grant entitled, “Dental Workforce in Alaska,” and two subsequent HRSA “State Loan Repayment Program” grants. Dr. Sewell co-authored the compendium, Alaska Health Care Data Book; Selected Measures, 2007.
Contact: Robert Sewell, Ph.D., Program Manager
Post: Alaska’s SHARP Program
HPSD, DPH, Alaska DHSS
P.O. Box 110610
Juneau, Alaska 99811-0610
Health Planning and Systems Development:
The SHARP program is within the Section of Health Planning and Systems Development (HPSD), Division of Public Health, Alaska DHSS. The purpose of HPSD is to strengthen health care systems in Alaska by enhancing health care access with a focus on rural areas and underserved populations. HPSD conducts statewide health planning to help sustain organized and efficient health care delivery in Alaska. HPSD work focuses on: health care delivery, workforce development, health care financing and reimbursement strategies, and facility planning. The HPSD staff supports a variety of statewide workforce efforts
Over the last five years, HPSD has worked with a large set of prominent interagency partners to consider and plan for the use of support-for-service program options to help address Alaska’s marked & growing healthcare shortage. This interagency planning group advanced the concept of a state-sponsored Health Care Professions Loan Repayment & Incentive Program (HCPRLIP, eventually HB-78). The proposal then went through many hearings and further discussions, and benefited from the expertise of Donald Pathman, MD (UNC, Sheps Center for Health Services Research). A key result was establishment of the interagency leadership function now found in the SHARP Advisory Council.
Alaska’s SHARP Program is resourced through several funding sources.
SHARP-I: Our traditional opportunity, SHARP-I, is jointly supported by federal grants from the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) at 50%, and varied non-federal sources, those principally including the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority (AMHTA), and now the State General Fund (GF/MH). The Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center also made an initial donation when SHARP began.
SHARP-II: Our newest opportunity was established through passage of HB-78 in Alaska 27th Legislature, and there known as “Health Care Professions Loan Repayment & Incentive Program (HCPLRIP). This legislation stated that SHARP-II could be resourced wholly through non-federal sources, those being State General Fund, and a required corresponding “employer match”. Regulation has now clarified that the employer match levels depend upon employer type, with the result being: Public (government) entities at 10%; non-profit entities at 25% and for-profit entities at 30%. Partial waivers of this required match are possible in some circumstances.