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AAMC, Congress Highlight Workforce Well-Being Initiatives

November 5, 2021

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CONTACTS
Brett Roude, Legislative Analyst
Anne Berry, Lead Specialist, Implementation Research & Policy

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health considered and advanced nine health bills on Nov. 4, including the AAMC-supported Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act (H.R. 1667) to address clinician well-being.

The subcommittee approved an amended version of the Lorna Breen Act, which would authorize $35 million for a Health Resources and Services Administration grant program and $10 million for a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awareness campaign, matching text that passed the Senate earlier this summer [refer to Washington Highlights, Aug. 13]. The bill’s approval follows an Oct. 26 subcommittee hearing on workforce legislation, including the Lorna Breen Act [refer to Washington Highlights, Oct. 29].

When discussing the legislation, members from both parties urged swift consideration of the Lorna Breen Act by the full Energy and Commerce Committee, with the hopes of having the bill passed by the full House and signed into law as soon as possible.

In endorsing the Lorna Breen Act, the AAMC noted, “There are numerous systemic and other sources for the high levels of stress and burnout that have long plagued health professionals, and the COVID-19 pandemic is only exacerbating the problem. Yet, stigma, bias, and other barriers can hinder health professionals from seeking and receiving care for new or ongoing mental and behavioral health challenges.”

To support medical school and teaching hospital efforts to address clinician well-being, the AAMC released a report, The Rise of Wellness Initiatives in Health Care: Using National Survey Data to Support Effective Well-Being Champions and Wellness Programs on Nov. 4. The report is a product of the AAMC Council on Faculty and Academic Societies (CFAS) Faculty Resilience Committee and presents findings from two surveys that examined common characteristics of wellness programs and the roles and responsibilities of the health care professionals who lead wellness efforts.

In addition to providing data from the CFAS survey, the report also presents ten recommendations for how medical schools and teaching hospitals can promote a culture of well-being and develop and support wellness leaders and initiatives.

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