Action Center

Washington Update - February 2022
February 1, 2022 by Catherine Majewski
  • Star Grassroots Advocates
    • Students and faculty from programs across the country have continued their efforts throughout January to support the preservation of key health workforce diversity and student debt reduction investments in the Biden administration’s social spending legislation. Thank you for your continued advocacy!
  • Advancing PAEA’s Advocacy Agenda
    • On January 10, PAEA launched its promotional campaign for the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) with a Networker article commemorating the 50th anniversary of the program. Over the next several months, PAEA will be conducting interviews with NHSC alumni, disseminating social media communications related to the program, and building upon the existing NHSC resources available on the PAEA website. The goal of the campaign is to encourage greater PA student and graduate participation in the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) to reduce the burden of student debt while simultaneously expanding access to care in underserved communities.
    • In mid-December, the Biden administration announced the appointment of Carole Johnson as the new Administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration. In response, PAEA sent an introductory letter expressing the Association’s sustained commitment to partnering with HRSA to develop a well-trained provider workforce.
  • Health Care News in Washington
    • On January 11, the Senate HELP Committee held a hearing entitled, "Addressing New Variants: A Federal Perspective on the COVID-19 Response," with members of the President’s COVID-19 response team. Witnesses, including CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, NIAID Director Anthony Fauci, FDA Acting Commissioner Janet Woodcock, and HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Dawn O'Connell, discussed next steps in the federal effort to control the spread of COVID-19 and its variants.
    • On January 13, the Senate HELP Committee advanced the nomination of Dr. Robert Califf to serve as Commissioner of the FDA by a vote of 13-8.
    • On January 20, the Biden-Harris Administration awarded $103 million in American Rescue Plan funding to reduce burnout and promote mental health and wellness across the health care workforce. Within this allocation, $68.2 million was awarded to 34 grantees as part of the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Health and Public Safety Workforce Resiliency Training Program. Through this program, grantees will develop curricula to help reduce burnout and promote resilience among health care students, residents, health care professionals, paraprofessionals, trainees and public safety officers.
    • On January 25, Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) and Ranking Member Richard Burr (R-NC) released a discussion draft of the PREVENT Pandemics Act, bipartisan legislation focused on strengthening the nation’s public health preparedness and response systems in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Opportunities for Action
    • As the Senate continues negotiations over the Build Back Better Act, it is critical that constituents make their voice heard to preserve investments in health workforce diversity in the bill. Please urge your senators to champion these provisions today.
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