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AACOM Endorses Legislation to Expand Community-Based Medical Residency Training

February 1, 2019

Contact:
Mary-Lynn Bender
Senior Director of Government and Public Relations
AACOM Office of Government Relations
(301) 908-2906
mlbender@aacom.org

Christine DeCarlo
Advocacy and Public Affairs Manager
AACOM Office of Government Relations
(202) 603-1026
cdecarlo@aacom.org

(Washington, DC) – The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) announces its strong support for S. 304, the Training the Next Generation of Primary Care Doctors Act of 2019, bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Jon Tester (D-MT), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Doug Jones (D-AL), John Boozman (R-AR), Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Kamala Harris (D-CA). The bill aims to help alleviate the nation’s physician workforce shortage, particularly in rural and medically underserved areas, by expanding the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) Program. Without congressional action, the THCGME Program will expire on September 30.

“AACOM commends Senators Collins, Tester, Capito, Jones, Boozman, Manchin, and Harris' bipartisan commitment to support our nation’s patient populations that struggle to access medical care,” says Stephen C. Shannon, DO, MPH, AACOM President and CEO. “The association proudly endorses the Training the Next Generation of Primary Care Doctors Act of 2019, which sustains and grows this important program, addressing our nation’s critical need to have a strong and robust primary care workforce. The THCGME Program has an impressive track record of recruiting and retaining physicians in geographic areas where patient access issues are most acute.”

AACOM also applauds the introduction of the Community and Public Health Programs Extension Act by Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA). This bill extends five years of mandatory funding for, among other federal health programs, the THCGME Program and the National Health Service Corps (NHSC), which strengthen and grow the primary care workforce by supporting dedicated health professionals serving in Health Professional Shortage Areas. Both programs are currently only funded through September 30, 2019.

Over the past three years, more than one third of osteopathic medical school graduates indicated their intent to practice in rural or underserved areas. AACOM remains committed to supporting sustainable funding for the THCGME Program and the NHSC to ensure that future osteopathic physicians can deliver care to the nation’s underserved patient populations. We look forward to our continued work with Congress as it negotiates policies that aim to provide all patients, including our most vulnerable, access to the health care they need.

About AACOM

The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) represents the 35 accredited colleges of osteopathic medicine in the United States. These colleges are accredited to deliver instruction at 55 teaching locations in 32 states. In the current academic year, these colleges are educating more than 30,000 future physicians—25 percent of all U.S. medical students. Six of the colleges are public and 29 are private institutions.

AACOM was founded in 1898 to support and assist the nation's osteopathic medical schools, and to serve as a unifying voice for osteopathic medical education. The association leads and advocates for the osteopathic medical education community to improve the health of the public.

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AACOM Office of Government Relations
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