Pictured (from left) are George Dunigan, Director of Government Relations, OU-HCOM; Valerie Van Ravenswaay, OMS-II, Student Government President, OU-HCOM; Pamela Murphy, Director of Government Relations, AACOM; Mary-Lynn Bender, Asst. Director of Government Relations, AACOM; D. Keith Watson, DO, Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education and Chief Academic Officer, OU-HCOM; and Marie Barone, Assistant Director of Financial Aid, OU-HCOM.
AACOM Director of Government Relations Pamela Murphy, MSW, and Assistant Director of Government Relations Mary-Lynn Bender spoke with students at the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-HCOM) on Thursday, January 19.
Ms. Murphy addressed OU-HCOM students and faculty, providing an in-depth overview of the association’s current legislative initiatives and policy priorities, and gave a detailed congressional update, describing the current political landscape in Washington, DC. Ms. Bender highlighted the importance of student involvement in advocacy efforts for the osteopathic medical community and shared ways in which students can become involved, such as utilizing various social media outlets in communicating with Members of Congress and federal officials, as well as applying for AACOM’s Osteopathic Health Policy Intern (OHPI) Program and signing up as subscribers to AACOM Action and Information Alerts.
Ms. Murphy and Ms. Bender highlighted many critical issues impacting osteopathic medical students, including rising student debt and potential funding cuts to Medicare-funded graduate medical education (GME). They also discussed AACOM’s advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill to reduce federal student loan interest rates, increase funding for federal scholarship and loan repayment programs, and preserve GME. Ms. Murphy and Ms. Bender also stressed the importance of becoming involved in advocacy and being educated about policy decisions that will impact osteopathic medical education and the osteopathic medicine community.