NJ Lawmakers Introduce Bills to Address Health Care Worker Shortage

May 23, 2023

NJAFP’s lobbyist, Claudine Leone, testified in support of a bill that revamps the NJ Primary Care Loan Redemption Program to improve access to the program for new family physicians by removing barriers for their prospective employers, including private practices, to qualify as an approved site. The bill would also increase the appropriation from 1.5$M to $10M and bump up the loan redemption amount to $180,000 (from $120k) for a 4 year commitment working in a medically underserved community.

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The mission of the NJAFP is to advance the specialty of Family Medicine through education and advocacy for the benefit of the public at large and our membership. NJAFP will transform the primary care practice environment such that family medicine is the specialty of choice in New Jersey, ensuring an adequate supply of family physicians to care for the citizens of our state.


With nearly 2000 members, the NJAFP is the largest primary care medical society in the state and a chapter of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

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NJAFP's Healthcare Transformation Team are experts in quality improvement science, including experienced field staff with practice-based backgrounds.

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NJAFP offers a wide variety of CME, and has received its accreditation with commendation as a provider of CME by the ACCME. Browse our course catalog and services.

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Learn more about Family Physicians and the Specialty of Family Practice. Use the NJAFP DocFinder tool to find a Member Family Physician in your community.

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Bennett Shenker MD

Bennett Shenker, MD, MS, MSPH, FAAFP

This interview began with a sentiment many in the field probably understand all too well. “It wasn’t necessarily my plan to go into family medicine,” Bennett S. Shenker said. “It was not a field that was strongly encouraged, and most faculty members were dismissive of it.”
Despite this familiar tale and a different set of intentions, Dr. Shenker ended up pursuing a career in Family Medicine anyway. He connected with the field during his clerkship and the rest was history.
Maya Bass, MD, MA, leaned on more than just her education, training and nearly a decade of practice experience when she delivered a presentation on resiliency, mindfulness and behavior change during the 2022 Family Medicine Experience.
“Wellness became crucial to my life because I live with multiple chronic medical conditions, which required me to make huge life changes quickly,” said Bass, who was diagnosed with celiac disease during her senior year in college and Crohn’s disease during her first year of medical school. “I did a lot of research and learned a lot of troubleshooting techniques to make behavior changes because I wanted to ensure that I was setting myself up for success.”
Sara B. Leonard, M.D., a Bergen County native, dreamt of becoming the type of doctor that conjures up images of a small-town family physician – visiting patients with a traveling doctor’s bag, and treating them from their earliest breaths through the course of their lives. She even started making house calls as a youth member of her local ambulance squad.

But, as often happens, life got in the way.