HARRISBURG – Legislation to increase the number of health care providers in the PA National Guard was approved by the state Senate. The measure improves the Medical Officer or Health Officer Incentive Program, created in 2014 to provide an education stipend to those who qualified through their time in the armed services. The program provided a solution for what the Guard saw as a lack of health care providers within its ranks. But some health professionals, such as dentists and physician assistants, were inadvertently left out of the program. Senate Bill 927 would establish a broader definition of health professional to capture those left out of the original program. It would also create education stipend tiers based on the participant’s education level. PA Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Mark Schindler said since the program was established, over 100 health care providers have joined the Guard with 80% participating in the program. The bill was sent to the PA House.