River Valley Counseling Center Employees Receive Student-loan Forgiveness

HOLYOKE — Thirty-four team members at River Valley Counseling Center received nearly $1.8 million in student-loan forgiveness this year through the MA Repay Program and the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program.

“Community mental-health centers, such as River Valley Counseling Center, are vitally important and in high demand, providing mental-health services for our most vulnerable community members,” said Rosemarie Ansel, executive director of River Valley Counseling Center. “We are proud to be included as an approved site for these programs. This is a reward for working in public service that we are committed to helping our team access.”

Over the summer, Massachusetts announced it would be awarding more than $140 million in collective student-loan relief to nearly 3,000 primary-care and behavioral-health providers in the state. In exchange for loan repayment through the MA Repay Program, each recipient has to work for at least four years in their field at one of the state’s approved organizations. For the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program, recipients must serve at least two years at an approved NHSC site in a health-professional shortage area. River Valley Counseling Center is an approved site with both of these programs.

“River Valley Counseling Center does an amazing job with educating, coaching, and supporting employees through the student-loan forgiveness process. Executive team members promote the programs available, offer group information sessions, and meet with staff individually to help guide them through the process as necessary,” said Elaine Campbell, assistant executive director and clinical director for River Valley Counseling Center. “We really help our employees develop their careers, while also providing them the tools they need to manage work-life balance. Relieving student-loan debt allows our team to eliminate stress in their lives and be their best selves both in and out of work.”