AACOM Works to Advance Diversity in Research

Read AACOM’s Analysis of Biden’s Budget Framework


April 19, 2021

What You Need to Know


AACOM believes that increasing physician diversity is vital to meet the nation’s healthcare needs. We applaud President Biden for prioritizing racial equity in his budget framework and encourage our membership to  of the proposal. We also urge the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to partner with us, osteopathic diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) leaders and trailblazers, and our colleges of osteopathic medicine to advance and strengthen racial DEI in biomedical research and to advance health disparities and health equity research. Read our and learn more about AACOM’s in osteopathic medical education (OME).

On The Hill

White House Proposes Major Boost to Health, Education in Preliminary FY22 Budget Request


On April 9, President Biden released his $1.5 trillion , which calls on Congress to provide $769 billion in non-defense discretionary funding, a 16 percent increase over current funding levels. The proposal requests $102.8 billion for the US Department of Education (ED), a $29.8 billion or 41 percent increase over the 2021 enacted level; $131.7 billion for Department of Health and Human Services, a $25 billion or 23.5 percent increase from the 2021 enacted level; and $51 billion for the NIH, a $9 billion or approximately 21.4 percent increase over the 2021 enacted level. It also recommends $905 million for the Strategic National Stockpile and $10.7 billion for opioid epidemic research, prevention, treatment and recovery support services. Importantly, the proposal prioritizes investments in programs, including rural residency programs, that help rural communities by providing access to quality healthcare and health professionals, and proposes a $100 million increase in funding for programs that aim to increase participation in science and engineering of individuals from racial and ethnic groups who are traditionally underrepresented in these fields.  to learn more about provisions of interest to OME.


While a more detailed budget request is expected later this spring, lawmakers will use Biden’s preliminary budget request as a guide for determining how much money to allocate to federal agencies in FY22. AACOM will engage the Administration and Congress and continue to update membership on areas of importance to the OME community as the budget and appropriations process moves forward.



Administration and Federal Agencies

AACOM Urges NIH Partnership to Strengthen Equity in Research Workforce


Recognizing that there are many innovative strategies and initiatives within the OME community to advance DEI within the research workforce, AACOM submitted on April 9 to the NIH in response to its (RFI) on approaches to reduce health disparities in research. Increasing diversity in the physician and research workforce is vital to improve healthcare for patients nationwide. AACOM welcomes the opportunity to engage with NIH on this important matter.

Opening Soon: FCC COVID-19 Telehealth Program


The Federal Communications Commission’s Wireline Competition Bureau will begin accepting applications for Round 2 of the COVID-19 Telehealth Program on Thursday, April 29. The filing window will close on Thursday, May 6 at 12:00 PM ET. Round 2 of the COVID-19 Telehealth Program is a $249 million federal initiative that builds on the $200 million program established as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. The program supports the efforts of healthcare professionals to continue serving their patients by providing reimbursement for telecommunications services, information services and connected devices necessary to enable telehealth during COVID-19. The program is open to eligible nonprofit and public healthcare professionals and sites, including osteopathic medical schools, that treat patients located in rural or non-rural areas or US territories. .

Department of Education Implements Title IX Regulation Review


On April 6, ED’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) sent a to stakeholders outlining next steps during its review of Title IX regulations, pursuant to the recent on Guaranteeing an Educational Environment Free from Discrimination on the Basis of Sex, Including Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity. To expand the discussion, OCR expects to hold a public hearing, with the date and time to be announced in the coming weeks. OCR will also provide a Q&A document to provide clarity on how it interprets obligations under the 2020 amendments to the Title IX regulations, which remain in effect. Following completion of the review, OCR anticipates offering a notice of proposed rulemaking to amend the Title IX regulations. AACOM will continue to monitor progress and update membership as OCR continues its review.

Department of Labor Issues RFI Regarding H-1B Visa Wage Levels


On April 2, the US Department of Labor (DOL) issued an seeking suggestions on methodologies to determine prevailing wage levels for H-1B visas and other programs. Any information received may be used by DOL as it reviews the January 14 Final Rule, Strengthening Wage Protections for the Temporary and Permanent Employment of Certain Aliens in the United States, to determine whether a new notice of proposed rulemaking may be needed on this matter. Please notify AACOM Government Relations at if you or your institution plan to respond to the RFI. Comments are due on June 1.

ED Posts Corrections to SAIHE Grant Application


On April 7, ED published to the FY21 Supplemental Assistance to Institutions of Higher Education (SAIHE) grant opportunity. Specifically, this notice corrects the year of the Pell Grant recipient percent that institutions must meet to be eligible for Absolute Priority 6 to Fall 2019 and removes the eligibility date for Absolute Priorities 2 and 5. The application deadline for these new grants, under the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, remains April 28.



Urge Congress to Expand Graduate Medical Education!


The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates that a robust physician workforce is essential to meet our nation’s growing healthcare needs, especially in rural and underserved areas. The Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2021 (S. 834/H.R. 2256) would help address our country’s physician shortage by adding 14,000 Medicare-funded graduate medical education positions over seven years, prioritizing hospitals in rural and medically underserved areas, hospitals in states with new medical schools and hospitals already training over their caps.



to sign on to the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act, which aims to reduce and prevent suicide, burnout, and mental and behavioral health conditions among healthcare professionals.


to support the Improving Access to Health Care in Rural and Underserved Areas Act, which would support continuing medical education for primary care physicians, especially in rural and medically underserved areas.

Engagement and Resources

ACE Releases Issue Brief on Requiring or Urging COVID-19 Vaccinations at Colleges and Universities: As colleges and universities prepare to welcome students back to campus for the Fall 2021 semester, the safety of students, faculty and staff is of paramount importance. Campus administrators are now grappling with what steps they can take to ensure a safe environment. To help with those deliberations, the American Council on Education recently released an providing a framework for requiring or encouraging student COVID-19 vaccinations.

Reminder: NHSC Program Applications Due in Early May: Osteopathic medical students and clinicians are reminded that applications for the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Scholarship Program are due on May 11. Applications for the NHSC Loan Repayment Programs are due on May 6. .

HRSA Grant to Improve Rural Maternal Health: The Health Resources and Services Administration recently announced a grant opportunity for the Rural Maternity and Obstetrics Management Strategies (RMOMS) Program. RMOMS seeks to improve maternal health in rural communities by testing models that address coordinating a continuum of care and leveraging telehealth services. Eligible applicants can attend a webinar on April 22. Applications are due June 4. .

Visit AACOM's for federal grants of interest to osteopathic medical education.

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