(1) "Georgia Board of Health Care Workforce"
means the organization and its office created under O.C.G.A.
(2) "Loan" refers to the service repayable
grant awarded by the Georgia Board of Health Care Workforce to applicants who
are desirous of becoming physician assistants practicing in rural areas of
(3) "Loan Repayment"
refers to repayment of all or a portion of recipient's outstanding physician
assistant education loan debt. Qualifying debt is held by an established
lending institution, identifiable as originating from the debt incurred to
obtain a physician assistants education and fully disclosed at the time of
assistant" means a skilled person who is licensed to a supervising physician
and who is qualified by academic and practical training to provide patients'
services not necessarily within the physical presence but under the personal
direction or supervision of the supervising physician.
(5) "Qualified Debt" is any debt incurred to
obtain an education as a physician assistant, fully disclosed at the time of
application, and is currently not in default. Even if a creditor now considers
the defaulted loan to be in good standing, such debt shall not be considered
Assistant Education Loan Debt" refers to loans incurred by the applicant to
finance his/her Physician Assistant education that remains unpaid during the
(7) "Eligible and
Qualified Applicant" refers to, as minimum qualifications, a physician
assistant with outstanding medical education loan debt, licensed to practice as
a physician assistant in the State of Georgia who desires to serve in a
Board-approved, rural area of Georgia.
(8) "Physician Assistant Program" means an
institution of medical education that received accreditation or provisional
accreditation by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the
Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) or National Commission on Certification of
Physician Assistants on a program in medical education designed to qualify the
graduate for licensure by the Georgia Composite Medical Board.
(9) "Recipient" means any person who receives
any amount of funding from Georgia Board of Health Care Workforce Physician
Assistants for Rural Areas Assistance Program of the Georgia Board for
Repayment" means the period of service earned by the physician assistant, as
approved by the Board, toward repayment of the service cancelable loan
physician assistant services rendered by the recipient and as required under
the provisions of the loan contract.
(11) "Credit" means that amount of time
credited to the recipient for services rendered in compliance with the
provisions of the contract. Credit is applied one year of funding for each year
of service rendered in compliance with the repayment provisions of the
contract, but may be prorated at the Board's discretion and
(12) "Rural and
Underserved Area" is defined as a Board approved rural county in Georgia of
50,000 population or less according to the United States decennial census of
2010 or any future such census or at any hospital or facility operated directly
by of the Department of Public Health, Department of Community Health,
Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, Department of
Human Resources, Department of Corrections or the Department of Juvenile
Justice. Facilities falling under the direct jurisdiction of the mentioned
state agencies must include physician assistant employment by approved agency
or, in case of contracted employment, the PA must be treating patients of the
approved agency with equal provisions given to that agency's
(13) "Contract Renewal"
means the yearly renewal of the loan repayment contract between the recipient
and the Board. The contract period shall be renewable on a one-year basis for a
period not exceeding four years and a total amount not exceeding
(14) "Award Amount"
refers to the annual amount obligated to a loan repayment recipient. The award
amount shall be determined by the Board. At its annual meeting, the Board may,
within its discretion, set the award amount for new loans within the limit of
the appropriated funds for the budget year. Said amount shall be set forth in
the official minutes of the Board.
(15) "Default" means breach of contract by
the recipient in failing to begin or failing to complete the contractual
service obligation of the Physician Assistants for Rural Areas Assistance
(16) "Ad Damnum or Double
Damages" refers to the penalty resulting from a loan repayment recipient
defaulting on their contractual obligations. Default requires immediate
repayment of double the total principal amount received less any pro-rated
amount for repaid service as provided in the contract.
(17) "Cancellation of Contract" refers to the
discretionary power of the Georgia Board of Health Care Workforce to cancel any
contract for cause deemed sufficient by the Board, provided such authority is
not exercised unreasonably or arbitrarily.
(18) "Full Time" refers to 40 hours of work
required per week to fulfill service obligations. Full time is considered at
least 32 clinical hours providing direct patient care during normal clinic
hours at the approved practice site. Remaining hours must be spent providing
practice-related administrative activities. On-call hours are not considered
part of the full time requirement. No more than 7 weeks (35 workdays) per year
can be spent away from the practice for vacation, holidays, continuing
professional education, illness or any other reason. Absences greater than 7
weeks a year will extend the service commitment. The practice time requirement
can be split between two or more counties, provided that none of the practice
location counties exceeds the 50,000 population limit.
(19) "Compelling Reasons" refers to
conditions such as a life threatening illness or loss of ability to perform the
duties of a PA or to be gainfully employed due to illness or accident. The
Board may consent to a lesser measure of damages for compelling