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Washington Update - May 2024
May 1, 2024 by Catherine Majewski
  • Star Grassroots Advocates
    • On March 23, President Biden signed the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2024, into law, completing the budget and appropriations process for fiscal year (FY) 2024 and providing full year funding for all federal agencies through September 30. Thanks to the work of PA faculty and students throughout the past year during in-person Hill Days and via PAEA’s Grassroots Action Network campaigns, funding legislation for FY24 included a number of victories for PA education in spite of an increasingly challenging fiscal environment. Check out this article on the PAEA website to learn more. 
    • On April 18, Senator Tim Kaine introduced the Primary Care Team Education Centers Act – innovative new legislation seeking to address both clinical training site and faculty shortages for health professions programs. Building upon the success of the Teaching Health Center program for physicians, this legislation would expand clinical education at federally qualified health centers, rural health clinics, and similar settings for PA and other health professions students. Special thanks to Mary L. Warner DBH, PA-C who serves as the Chair for the Department of PA Studies at George Washington University and spoke with Sen. Kaine’s office about issues impacting PA education prior to the bill’s introduction.
  • Advancing PAEA’s Advocacy Agenda
    • On April 1, PAEA in association with the Friends of the Health Resources and Services Administration coalition submitted a letter to lead House and Senate appropriators on the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies subcommittees. The letter calls for at least $10.5 billion for discretionary Health Resources and Services Administration programs in the FY 2025 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill.
    • On April 16, PAEA hosted a webinar entitled, “EDI Restrictions in Higher Education: Survey of the Current Landscape.” This webinar outlined current legislation and policies impacting PA programs following the Supreme Court ruling against using race-conscious admissions policies in higher education. 
    • On April 19, PAEA as well as other representatives from universities with PA programs joined the National Association of Rural Health Clinics (NARHC) in hosting a technical assistance webinar entitled, “A-Z: All You Need to Know About Making Your RHC a PA Clinical Rotation site.” The webinar focused on sharing best practices in establishing a Rural Health Clinic as a PA clinical rotation site and provided additional time for Q&A.
  • Health Care News in Washington
    • Representative Tom Cole (R-OK) has been confirmed as the next chair of the House Appropriations Committee. He will replace former Chair Kay Granger (R-TX) and will be the first Native American and member from Oklahoma to hold the position.
    • In Mid-April, the Senate Appropriations Labor, Health & Human Services Subcommittee and the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee held hearings on the Department of Health and Human Services Budget for Fiscal Year 2025. During the hearings, HHS Secretary Becerra discussed how the President’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 Budget invests in growing and diversifying the behavioral health workforce and expands key HRSA programs by providing $916 million for the National Health Service Corps as one example. This will help to increase workforce capacity across the country, including for behavioral health. Becerra also reiterated the Administration’s commitment to addressing the U.S. maternal mortality rate and advancing maternal health equity. 
  • Opportunities for Action
    • Your voice matters in advocating for legislation that will positively impact the future of PA education and address healthcare disparities in underserved communities. Please contact your elected officials in Congress and urge them to support the Primary Care Team Education Centers Act. 
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