(Bethesda, MD) – American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) President and CEO Robert A. Cain, DO, issued the following statement regarding the enactment of HR 1319, The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which brings us closer to COVID-19 recovery by providing crucial support to our country’s higher education and healthcare systems:
“AACOM thanks Congress and the Biden Administration for funding programs and efforts important to the osteopathic medical education (OME) community and essential to ending this pandemic. We particularly applaud the $330 million for the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education Program to create new sites, expand existing sites and increase the per resident allocation. AACOM has long advocated for this highly successful program with a proven track record of enhancing primary care access in rural and medically underserved communities and we appreciate this vital funding.
The $1.9 trillion package also helps our colleges of osteopathic medicine continue to educate nearly 25 percent of our nation’s future physicians while responding to the prolonged challenges posed by COVID-19, and extends emergency financial aid grants to qualifying osteopathic medical students, many of whom are engaged in the important work of vaccinating our communities.
The legislation bolsters vaccine rollout, expands the public health workforce and helps address the significant mental and behavioral health issues exacerbated by the pandemic. Osteopathic medical students are trained to holistically care for a patient’s mind, body and spirit. Given our commitment to osteopathic principles and practice, we especially appreciate the American Rescue Plan’s inclusion of initiatives proposed in the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act to address health professional burnout, mental health and suicide.
We look forward to partnering with Congress and the Biden Administration to advance the federal policies and programs that will guide us through this pandemic, strengthen our healthcare and higher education systems and elevate the OME community.”
The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) leads and advocates for the full continuum of osteopathic medical education to improve the health of the public. Founded in 1898 to support and assist the nation's osteopathic medical schools, AACOM represents all 37 colleges of osteopathic medicine—educating nearly 31,000 future physicians, 25 percent of all US medical students—at 58 teaching locations in 33 US states, as well as osteopathic graduate medical education professionals and trainees at US medical centers, hospitals, clinics and health systems.
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