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Action Center

Washington Update - July 2022
July 6, 2022 by Catherine Majewski
  • Star Grassroots Advocates
    • To help build momentum for the introduction of the PA Education Public Health Initiatives Act in the Senate, 59 program directors signed a letter of support for the bill sent to Health committee leadership on June 24. Special thanks to all those who signed the letter and to Vanessa S. Bester, EdD, PA-C, DFAAPA, from Augsburg University, Christina B. Hanson, EdD, PA-C, from Bethel University, and Terry Scott, MPA, PA-C, DFAAPA, from UW Medicine MEDEX Northwest who conducted virtual advocacy meetings with Senate offices on behalf of the bill. 
  • Advancing PAEA’s Advocacy Agenda
    • On June 1, PAEA hosted a webinar for nearly 120 registrants to provide an overview of the Association’s Future Educator Fellowship, Student Health Policy Fellowship, and other opportunities for student involvement in grassroots advocacy. A recording of the webinar is available here.
    • On June 9, PAEA submitted a letter to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs in support of the Improving Access to Workers’ Compensation for Injured Federal Workers Act. The bill, which would remove barriers that prevent PAs and NPs from providing care through federal workers’ compensation for injuries occurring as a result of occupational causes, is a legislative priority for the American Academy of Physician Associates (AAPA) and passed the House on June 5.
    • On June 23, PAEA, along with the Federation of Associations of Schools of the Health Professions (FASHP), sent a letter with Senate leadership to advocate for the swift passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which includes significant new funding for the Primary Care Training and Enhancement grant program.
    • On June 24, PAEA and 15 other external organizations with shared priorities signed onto a letter endorsing the PA Education Public Health Initiatives Act to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.
  • Health Care News in Washington
    • On June 21, the House Appropriations Committee released funding allocations for its 12 subcommittees, with a $224.399 billion allocation for the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies subcommittee. Of this allocation, the Health Resources and Services Administration was provided with $9.6 billion, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Resources Administration received $9.2 billion. Both funding levels reflect substantial increases from the FY 22 enacted levels and were formally advanced by the full committee on June 30.
    • On June 22, the House passed the Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act of 2022, a bipartisan package that seeks to address mental health and substance use disorders. Most notably, the bill would reauthorize key federal mental health programs, increase funding for addiction treatment, and remove the requirement for a separate waiver to prescribe buprenorphine for the treatment of opioid use disorder.
    • On June 24, Congress passed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act to address gun violence through gun control measures, increased funding for mental health and school safety resources, and additional grants to expand Certified Community Behavioral Clinics. Specifically, the bill provides:
      • $80 million in grants for pediatricians to access mental health specialists;
      • $60 million over five years for mental health training to primary care clinicians who treat children;
      • $250 million for states to improve community mental health services;
      • $150 million to implement a suicide and crisis hotline providing free support; and
      • $2 billion in funding for school safety initiatives and anti-violence programs.
  • Opportunities for Action
    • As the Senate begins work on its FY23 appropriations bills, it is critical that constituents advocate for strengthened health workforce investments to address provider shortages and their impact on the quality of care delivered to all communities. Please urge Congress to support increased funding for all Title VII health workforce development programs for fiscal year 2023 today.
    • PAEA is now accepting applications for the 2022 Student Health Policy Fellowship. If you are interested in developing leadership and advocacy skills to ensure that PA education is represented at the local, state, and national level, apply by 11:59 p.m. ET on July 11. If you would like to learn more, visit PAEA’s Student Health Policy Fellowship page. 
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