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Washington Update - May 2022
May 1, 2022 by Catherine Majewski
  • Star Grassroots Advocates
    • ​In early April, PAEA hosted the Association’s annual Spring Advocacy Day. The event, which provided training to PA students and faculty in policy and advocacy, resulted in more than 70 participants meeting with their congressional representatives to generate support for the Physician Assistant Higher Education Modernization Act and the Physician Assistant Education Public Health Initiatives Act. If enacted, these bills would achieve long-standing aims for PA education including restored access to subsidized Stafford loans for PA students, expanded clinical training opportunities in underserved settings, and investments in PA program development at minority-serving institutions. Special thanks to all the PA students and faculty who participated from the Morehouse School of Medicine, University of Washington-MEDEX, University of Colorado, MGH Institute of Health Professions, and University of Southern California PA programs.
  • Advancing PAEA's Advocacy Agenda
    • ​On April 6, following coordinated advocacy between PAEA and over 200 other higher education organizations, President Biden extended the pandemic moratorium on federal student loan payments and interest accrual through August 31.
    • On April 6, PAEA joined the Friends of HRSA coalition and other supporting organizations in a letter to lead appropriators in the House and Senate with jurisdiction over HRSA’s discretionary budget for FY 2023. The letter recommends a funding level of at least $9.8 billion for HRSA programs in the FY 2023 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies appropriations bill.
    • On April 19, PAEA, along with the other member organizations of the Federation of Associations of Schools of the Health Professions (FASHP), shared a letter with relevant Senate and House committees to encourage the inclusion of health professions education and training programs in pending mental health legislation before Congress.
    • On April 21, PAEA met with newly appointed HRSA Administrator Carole Johnson. During the meeting, PAEA discussed the barriers that programs face in securing clinical placements at HRSA-funded community health centers and ongoing efforts to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in PA education.
    • On April 26, PAEA and more than 80 other members of the Health Professions and Nursing Education Coalition (HPNEC) submitted a FY 2023 funding recommendation letter for HRSA Title VII health professions and Title VIII nursing workforce development programs. The letter urges House and Senate Labor-HHS appropriators to provide $1.51 billion for the programs in this fiscal year, up from the FY 2022 level of $799 million.
  • Health Care News in Washington
    • ​On March 28, the Office of Management and Budget released the President's FY 2023 budget request, which proposes increased investments in Title VII and other health workforce development programs that play a critical role in supporting PA programs, faculty, and students. To learn more about these proposed investments, read the alert published by PAEA on April 4.
    • On March 29, Senate Finance released a report titled, “Mental Health Care in the United States: The Case for Federal Action,” discussing ways to improve access to mental health care nationwide. Proposed solutions included increased investments in behavioral health workforce initiatives such as scholarship and loan repayment programs as well as funding for the development of educational pipeline programs.
    • On April 15, the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee held hearings on the President’s FY 2023 Health and Human Services budget request. In addition, the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing titled, "The Fiscal Year 2023 HHS Budget," on April 27. During the hearings, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra outlined the department’s funding requests for FY 2023, which include significant investments in behavioral health workforce development, among other priorities.
  • Opportunities for Action
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