Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced September 14 that $33 million will go toward expanding health care training in the United States. The funds are part of the $500 million allotted to HHS’s Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to bolster the American workforce under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the economic stimulus package Congress passed earlier this year.

“President Obama is committed to passing health insurance reform, and we’re closer to reform than ever before,” Sebelius said in a statement. “The Recovery Act will help ensure we grow our health care workforce and give our aspiring doctors, nurses and health professionals the tools and training they need to provide top-quality care to more Americans.”

The grants are distributed through six HRSA programs: Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students, which aids full-time health professions students; Centers of Excellence, which funds professional schools to establish or improve programs for minority students; Public Health Traineeships, which funds schools of public health to help pay for tuition, fees and stipends for students in biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health, toxicology, nutrition or maternal and child health; Nursing Workforce Diversity, which provides nursing opportunities for individuals from low-income backgrounds; Health Care Opportunities, which funds schools and training sites to help disadvantaged students enter and graduate from health programs; and Dental Public Health Residency Training, which funds residency programs in dental public health.