Levin signs letter requesting $280 million for Title VII health professions education and training programs

Apr 1, 2015 Issues: Health Care, Veterans

 

Representative Tom Cole                                Representative Rosa DeLauro

Chairman                                                         Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Labor, HHS,                      Subcommittee on Labor, HHS,
Education, and Related Agencies                  Education, and Related Agencies
Committee on Appropriations                         Committee on Appropriations
U.S. House of Representatives                       U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515                                Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Chairman Cole and Ranking Member DeLauro:

As you begin work on the fiscal year (FY) 2016 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bill, we respectfully urge you to support the nation’s health care workforce by including $280 million for the Title VII health professions education and training programs at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). As you know, these programs provide direct financial support for health care workforce development and education. Further, with a focus on primary care and training in interdisciplinary, community-based settings, they are the only federal programs designed to fill gaps in the supply of health professionals, respond to the needs of special and underserved populations, and increase minority representation in the health care workforce.

The Title VII programs have a longstanding history of helping the health workforce adapt to the nation’s changing health care needs. Today, the programs help strengthen the supply of primary care professionals while also preparing the next generation of providers to deliver high-quality, team-based care. The programs are also critical to help advance timely priorities, such as strengthening education and training opportunities in geriatrics to better care for the nation’s aging population, as well as integrating mental and behavioral health and oral health into primary care delivery. For example, some Title VII grantees are focusing on interprofessional geriatrics training for non-geriatric health professionals; effective care transitions and chronic care management for seniors; or education and training around Alzheimer’s disease, with an emphasis on prevention and early detection, among many other initiatives. Additionally, the programs are working to close the gap in access to mental and behavioral health care services with a focus on underserved communities, including our nation’s veterans.

At a time when the country is facing unprecedented provider shortages, as well as a rapidly growing and aging population, a strong commitment to the Title VII programs is necessary. 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. We respectfully urge you to make the nation’s next generation of health professionals a priority with a strong investment in the Title VII programs in the FY 2016 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bill. We greatly appreciate your consideration of this request.

Sincerely,
 

To view the original letter and signatures