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AAMC Members Urge Funding for NIH, Health Workforce in FY 2015

March 28, 2014—The House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) Appropriations Subcommittee held a March 25 public witness hearing where two representatives from AAMC-member institutions were selected to testify.

Vivian Lee, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., senior vice president for health sciences, dean of the School of Medicine, and CEO of University of Utah Health Care, urged the subcommittee to make investments in NIH, graduate medical education (GME), and the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Title VII health professions and Title VIII nursing workforce programs.

Dr. Lee, who chairs the AAMC Advisory Panel on Research, described the return on investment of NIH funding for the Utah Genome Project, where researchers sequenced the BRCA1 gene and developed a test to determine a patient’s risk of developing breast cancer. Dr. Lee noted it is just the “tip of the iceberg” for genomic medicine and urged the subcommittee to provide $32 billion for NIH in FY 2015.

Dr. Lee also discussed the importance of having an adequate health care workforce to care for the nation’s population. She noted that 27 out of Utah’s 29 counties are designated as primary care Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA). Dr. Lee urged the subcommittee to provide $520 million for HRSA’s Title VII health professions and Title VIII nursing workforce programs to help fill gaps in the workforce and allow communities to receive the care they need.

Samir Khleif, M.D., director, Georgia Regents University Cancer Center, testified about the importance of National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding, which he said has allowed the U.S. to maintain its edge and remain a “beacon” for biomedical research globally. To maintain this edge, he urged the subcommittee provide $32 billion for NIH in fiscal year (FY) 2015.

Dr. Khleif also described efforts at Georgia Regents University to addresses the burden of cancer in minority populations and said the nation must address these disparities to improve the health of underprivileged communities and minorities.


Alexandra Khalife
Legislative Analyst
Telephone: 202-828-0418


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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.

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Jason Kleinman
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Telephone: 202-903-0806