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Goodwin Living Tackles Staffing Shortage with New Student Loan Repayment Program



Goodwin Living, a faith-based, nonprofit senior living and healthcare services organization in the National Capital Region, has announced that clinical team members can now receive up to $5,250 annually in student loan repayment grants.


The student loan repayment program is one of the first of its kind in the region intended to help attract more clinical professionals to the field of senior living and health care services.

“Ten thousand older adults turn 65 every day in the United States,” said Melinda Gren, vice president of performance and operations for home and community-based services. “The demand for clinical services to support these older adults is dramatically outpacing the supply of talent, which is why Goodwin Living and the Goodwin Living Foundation are launching this student loan repayment program.”


Goodwin Living found that the average student loan debt for its clinical team members — physical, speech, and occupational therapists; nurses; dietitians; and social workers — was $109,000. Combined with the cost of living in the region, this debt load creates added stress on team members and requires many to maintain second jobs. Gren and others saw the potential for the Goodwin Living Foundation to launch a student loan repayment program and incentivize more clinical professionals to choose senior living and healthcare as a career. The Goodwin Living Foundation exists to support the mission of Goodwin Living through philanthropic initiatives and programs.


“The idea that the Goodwin Living Foundation can ease the burden of student loans on our clinical team members is transformational,” said Goodwin Living Foundation Board of Directors Chair Joan Renner. “If you think about the challenges that older adults are facing, not just today’s older adults, but the older adults of the future, Goodwin Living is helping to ensure a strong talent pipeline to care for older adults not only now but in the future. That’s one more way that Goodwin Living and the Goodwin Living Foundation are addressing a significant societal need.”


Employees in clinical roles with at least two years of tenure at Goodwin Living are now eligible to apply for up to $5,250 annually toward repayment of their student loans. Clinical team members with tenure of six months to two years are eligible for up to $2,625 annually in student loan repayment grants. There are no lifetime caps to the grant awards.

In this initial launch phase of the program, clinical positions are eligible for student loan repayment grants. Goodwin Living intends to expand the program in the future to other positions in the organization.


“I’ve never heard of an organization helping its team members with student loan repayment,” said Ameera Bhanji, a licensed master social worker with Goodwin Living. “My initial reaction upon hearing about this student loan repayment program was disbelief. Once it sunk in, I felt relief in knowing that the financial burden I carry for my education was going to get a lot lighter, and I believe this will inspire more students to pursue these clinical fields.”


Goodwin Living’s senior living and healthcare services footprint in the National Capital Region includes three life-plan communities, including two nursing-care centers that are five-star-rated by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; its age-in-place program, Goodwin Living At Home; and its Medicare-certified services provided by Goodwin Home Health, Goodwin Rehabilitation, and Goodwin Hospice. In addition, Goodwin Living serves roughly 16,000 older adults across the U.S. with its StrongerMemory brain health program, available at no cost through the support of the Goodwin Living Foundation. Goodwin Living has been a Washington Post Top Workplace for five consecutive years and was named the #1 Top Workplace for 2023.


The Goodwin Living Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, supports a wide range of programs that enhance the lives of residents, team members, hospice patients, and their families. Through the power of philanthropy, the Goodwin Living Foundation seeks and celebrates generosity to carry out the mission of Goodwin Living, to provide financial security to residents, to enable staff to thrive in their careers, and to support innovation, thus enhancing the lives of older adults and those who care for them.

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