Action Center

Washington Update - October 2022
October 7, 2022 by Catherine Majewski
  • Star Grassroots Advocates
    • This year’s PAEA Student Health Policy Fellowship workshop took place virtually from September 12-14. During the first two days of the workshop, fellows learned about advocacy best practices and the policymaking process, interacted with fellow leaders, and collaborated on their one-year community-based advocacy projects. On the final day, fellows participated in calls with their elected representatives’ offices to request support for the Physician Assistant Higher Education Modernization Act and the Physician Assistant Education Public Health Initiatives Act. Thank you to our 2022-23 Student Health Policy Fellowship cohort for your advocacy on behalf of PA education and to our speakers who helped to make the workshop a success! To learn more about our programming for this year’s workshop, check out our recent Networker article. 
  • Advancing PAEA’s Advocacy Agenda
    • On August 4, Representatives Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Elise Stefanik (R-NY), and Jim Banks (R-IN) introduced the REAL Reforms Act, which would eliminate the Grad PLUS loan program, impose strict federal borrowing limits for direct loans, and end the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, among other measures. In response, throughout the first week of September, PAEA’s Government Relations team met with the lead offices on the bill to advocate for the preservation of PSLF as well as continued access to federal aid for PA students.
    • On September 20 and 21, PAEA participated in the annual Coalition for Health Funding (CHF) Virtual Hill Day. During congressional meetings, PAEA’s Government Relations team had the opportunity to discuss the harmful impact of a year-long continuing resolution on Title VII programs and grantees and express the Association’s support for passing full FY 23 appropriations via an omnibus spending agreement.
  • Health Care News in Washington
    • On September 22, the Senate Finance Committee released a discussion draft of legislation aimed at expanding the mental health workforce. The draft proposes several policy solutions to increase access to mental health care for all Americans, including the expansion of the Medicare Health Professional Shortage Area bonus program. This expansion would encourage behavioral health PAs and other mental health care providers who were not previously eligible for the program to practice in rural and underserved areas.
    • On September 30, Congress passed a continuing resolution to fund the government through mid-December at FY 22 levels. The temporary funding bill averted a government shutdown in the absence of an FY 23 agreement.
  • Opportunities for Action
    • PAEA’s Government Relations team is recruiting for several positions on our Government Relations Steering Committee (GRSC) as well as a new GRSC chair. Applications will be accepted from September 13 to October 21, and those who are interested in applying and/or learning more about our committee and open positions are invited to visit PAEA’s 2023 Volunteer Recruitment Cycle page on the PAEA website. 
    • The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is now seeking nominations for candidates representing communities underrepresented in medicine for its Initial Review Group (IRG). The AHRQ IRG is responsible for scientific review of health services research and training grant applications and additional information about the IRG and committee member responsibilities can be found here. Members interested in being nominated by PAEA to serve on this committee are invited to submit a biosketch, CV, and letter of interest identifying the subcommittee to which they would prefer to be nominated to Tyler Smith at tsmith@PAEAonline.org by November 1 and will be evaluated on the following criteria:
      • Demonstrated expertise in health services research or training grant evaluation;
      • Demonstrated expertise in health equity issues;
      • Track record of research publications;
      • Previous national or state-level volunteer service; and
      • Track record of leadership in PA education.
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