On Wednesday, March 28, in conjunction with its Annual Meeting, the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) held its 2012 COM Day on Capitol Hill for teams selected by its Board of Deans. Thirteen different colleges of osteopathic medicine (COMs) were represented at the event.
Participants attended a breakfast in the morning and heard a legislative briefing from Pamela Murphy, MSW, AACOM Director of Government Relations, who provided detailed information on AACOM’s public policy priorities and discussed recent legislative efforts on issues of importance to the osteopathic medical education community.
Following the briefing, the teams met with Members of Congress and their staffs to discuss a variety of issues impacting the COMs, including primary care workforce priorities, such as funding for the Title VII health professions programs and the National Health Service Corps (NHSC), the increasing financial burden of medical student debt and legislative proposals to address this burden, and the importance of Medicare-funded graduate medical education (GME).
Participating teams also urged Congress to support the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Primary Care Training and Enhancement (PCTE) Program. Funding for this program supports awards to eligible primary care physicians and other health professionals, helping to bolster the primary care workforce, particularly in rural communities throughout the nation. The teams also requested support for the Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Program, which provides funding for interdisciplinary, community-based, primary care training programs as well as funding for the Geriatric Education Centers, the Centers of Excellence Program, and the Health Careers Opportunity Program.
Participating schools included:
- Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine of Midwestern University
- Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine of Midwestern University
- Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Lincoln Memorial University - DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Nova Southeastern University - College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences - College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine - New York
- University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey - School of Osteopathic Medicine
- University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine
- University of Pikeville - Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Western University of Health Sciences/College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific.