Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 112 Part 5.djvu/594

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112 STAT. 3352 PUBLIC LAW 105-368 —NOV. 11, 1998 Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel Incentive Act of 1998 38 USC 101 note. TITLE VIII—HEALTH PROFESSIONALS EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE SEC. 801. SHORT TITLE. This title may be cited as the "Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel Incentive Act of 1998". SEC. 802. SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM FOR DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS EMPLOYEES RECEIVING EDUCATION OR TRAIN- ING IN THE HEALTH PROFESSIONS. (a) PROGRAM AUTHORITY.— Chapter 76 is amended by adding at the end the following new subchapter: "SUBCHAPTER VI—EMPLOYEE INCENTIVE SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM "§7671. Authority for program "As part of the Educational Assistance Program, the Secretary may carry out a scholarship program under this subchapter. The program shall be known as the Department of Veterans Affairs Employee Incentive Scholarship Program (hereafter in this subchapter referred to as the 'Program'). The purpose of the Program is to assist, through the establishment of an incentive program for individuals employed in the Veterans Health Administration, in meeting the staffing needs of the Veterans Health Administration for health professional occupations for which recruitment or retention of qualified personnel is difficult. "§7672. Eligibility; agreement "(a) ELIGIBILITY. —To be eligible to participate in the Program, an individual must be an eligible Department employee who is accepted for enrollment or enrolled (as described in section 7602 of this title) as a full-time or part-time student in a field of education or training described in subsection (c). "(b) ELIGIBLE DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEES.— For purposes of subsection (a), an eligible Department employee is any employee of the Department who, as of the date on which the employee submits an application for participation in the Program, has been continuously employed by the Department for not less than 2 years. "(c) QUALIFYING FIELDS OF EDUCATION OR TRAINING.— A scholarship may be awarded under the Program only for education and training in a field leading to appointment or retention in a position under section 7401 of this title. "(d) AWARD OF SCHOLARSHIPS.—Notwithstanding section 7603(d) of this title, the Secretary, in selecting participants in the Program, may award a scholarship only to applicants who have a record of employment with the Veterans Health Administration which, in the judgment of the Secretary, demonstrates a high likelihood that the applicant will be successful in completing such education or training and in employment in such field. "(e) AGREEMENT.— (1) An agreement between the Secretary and a participant in the Program shall (in addition to the requirements set forth in section 7604 of this title) include the following: "(A) The Secretary's agreement to provide the participant with a scholarship under the Program for a specified number (from one to three) of school years during which the participant