A bipartisan group of House and Senate lawmakers issued letters to appropriators in support of funding for the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)’s Title VII health professions programs in fiscal year (FY) 2017, consistent with the recommendation of the stakeholder community.
Representatives Michael Burgess, M.D., (R-Texas) and Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) led a March 21 letter urging House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Tom Cole (R-Okla.) and Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) to provide $280 million for Title VII health professions programs in FY 2017. A total of 72 members, including four Republicans, joined Reps. Burgess and DeGette in signing the letter.
The letter highlights the role of the Title VII programs in preparing the health workforce to meet the nation’s needs and the need for sustained funding for the programs. “Sustained support for these programs will ensure that the distribution, quality, and diversity of the health professions workforce continue to improve and that the workforce is prepared to meet the country’s evolving and emerging health care needs,” the letter states.
In the Senate, Senator Jack Reed (D-R.I.) was joined by 28 senators on a March 17 letter to Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) recommending $280 million for Title VII in FY 2017.
Similar to the House effort, the letter highlights the importance of the Title VII programs, which “guide current and aspiring health professionals to high demand careers in areas of greatest need.”
Sen. Reed and his colleagues note that “support for these programs will ensure that the distribution, quality, and diversity of the health professions workforce continue to improve, and that the workforce is prepared to meet the country's evolving and emerging health care needs."
Meanwhile, the Health Professions and Nursing Education Coalition (HPNEC) March 21 sent a letter to House and Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee leadership recommending $524 million for HRSA’s Title VII health professions and Title VIII nursing workforce development programs in FY 2017. The coalition is also supporting the proposal in the president’s budget that would shift funding to HRSA that currently is appropriated to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration for the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) program. HRSA administers BHWET under Title VII authority.
Led by the AAMC, HPNEC is an informal alliance of more than 60 national organizations representing schools, programs, health professionals and students dedicated to ensuring the health care workforce is trained to meet the needs of our diverse population.