AACOM Conducts Congressional Outreach to Advance Students Assist America, Offers Resource on how CARES Act Affects OME



April 20, 2020

What You Need to Know


AACOM Advocates for OME as COVID-19 Response Continues


As our nation continues to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, AACOM works to ensure that federal policies and programs support osteopathic medical students, residents, educators, and physicians. We have called on Congress to increase the manufacture and distribution of ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE), and have requested a significant boost in funding for Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS-Ed) programs, which are vital to education and public health. The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has announced the implementation process of releasing education funding authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. AACOM provided a webinar on how the CARES Act affects the osteopathic medical education (OME) community and is offering a of the webinar to AACOM members to serve as a resource for those with questions about the stimulus package. AACOM remains committed to working with Congress and the Administration as our community continues to actively respond to COVID-19.


AACOM COVID-19 Response and Resources

  • AACOM has highlighted for Congress and the Administration a new initiative, in which medical students and students from a variety of other health professions are being deployed in safe, clinically appropriate ways to help the nation’s health care system continue to function during this unprecedented pandemic.
  • As an update to the joint AACOM and the American Osteopathic Association Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation that the nation’s osteopathic medical schools support a minimum two-week “pause” of medical student participation in activities involving patient contact, AACOM a continuation at a minimum of an additional three weeks.
  • AACOM continuously updates its to share information and raise awareness of prevention and preparedness efforts.

On The Hill

AACOM Joins Letter to Administration Urging Action to Solve Ventilator and PPE Shortages


AACOM more than 200 national organizations in a letter to senior federal Administration officials appealing for immediate action to alleviate the nation’s critical shortage of ventilators and PPE. The patient advocacy, medical, and public health organizations called for the federal government to facilitate the timely, transparent, equitable, needs-based, and non-competitive manufacturing and distribution of ventilators and PPE to help ensure the safety of the health care workforce and patients.

AACOM Raises Congressional Awareness of COVID-19 Student Mobilization Efforts


Last week, we to Members of Congress announcing a new initiative spearheaded by AACOM, . As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, and our teaching hospitals work under unprecedented conditions, thousands of students across the health professions will have an opportunity to help our health care system respond. As legislators work to help alleviate the pandemic’s widespread, devastating impact, AACOM will continue to work with them on behalf of OME, and toward improved public health through this new initiative.

AACOM Joins Letter in Support of FY21 Health and Education Funding


AACOM 371 organizations in a letter to House and Senate Appropriations Committee leadership calling for an increase to the fiscal year 2021 LHHS-Ed 302(b) allocation. Chronic underfunding of the LHHS-Ed bill has impeded programs that support education, public health, health research, job training, and social services. Consistent and robust investments in the LHHS-Ed programs through annual appropriations will be critical to address the long-term impacts of COVID-19 and prepare for future pandemics.




Tyler King, OMS-IV, NYITCOM at Arkansas State

Tyler King, OMS-IV, NYITCOM at Arkansas State

Recent Osteopathic Health Policy Intern Offers Loan Repayment Advice for New Graduates


AACOM’s recent Osteopathic Health Policy Intern Tyler King, fourth-year student at the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University, shared his advice with ED to MED for soon-to-be-graduating health professions students to help them prepare to begin repaying their loans. Learn what Tyler recommends in his ED to MED guest blog post.

Shawn Hamm DO MPH

Shawn Hamm, DO, MPH

ED to MED Interview: Shawn Hamm, DO, MPH, Discusses Importance of Sustained Advocacy


Shawn Hamm, DO, MPH, a family medicine resident and graduate of the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine, was recently named ED to MED’s 2020 Outstanding Advocate of the Year. Dr. Hamm answered questions about the importance of advocacy, particularly as our nation responds to COVID-19, the role medical residents can play in the advocacy sphere, and what he hopes to accomplish going forward. Learn about Dr. Hamm’s advocacy journey, and let his story inspire you to to lifelong advocacy.



Administration and Federal Agencies

ED Announces Implementation Process for CARES Act Funds


As authorized by the CARES Act, ED recently announced the , a flexible emergency block grant that provides governors with the authority to determine how to allocate both K-12 and postsecondary education funding. ED has also begun distributing over $6 billion to institutes of higher education (IHEs) through aimed at assisting students impacted by COVID-19. Funding allocations for IHEs are determined according to a formula specified by the CARES Act, largely based upon an institution’s relative share of full-time equivalent enrollment of Pell Grant recipients. The formula also allows for institutions to receive funding based on undergraduate and graduate enrollment. All institutions must complete the Certificate of Funding and Agreement . ED is expected to issue guidance for CARES Act funding reserved for institutional use in the coming days.


For additional information, AACOM members are encouraged to provided by Hogan Marren Babbo & Rose, Ltd exclusively for the OME community on what the CARES Act means for osteopathic medical schools, students, and residents navigating the impact of COVID-19. For additional information and resources of particular importance to OME, please visit the .

Application Deadlines Extended for NHSC Scholarship and Loan Repayment Programs


Recognizing that applicants may need additional time to apply during the COVID-19 crisis, the Health Resources and Services Administration has extended the application deadlines for the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Scholarship Program (SP) to May 15, 2020, and Loan Repayment Programs (LRPs) to May 21, 2020. Students pursuing a career in primary health care are eligible to through the NHSC SP in exchange for practicing in underserved areas. Applicants may participate in an , April 20, until 5:00 PM ET and for additional program information. Osteopathic clinicians who want to serve in Health Professional Shortage Areas through the NHSC LRP, Substance Use Disorder Workforce LRP, and Rural Community LRP in exchange for providing care to patients in these underserved areas. Learn more about the NHSC and .

Featured Federal Resources and COM Engagement

NIH Offers Short-Term National Research Service Awards: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is accepting applications for its short-term, institutional research training grants. Named for the renowned NIH researcher, the program encourages training of graduate students in research careers and will award short-term grants to eligible domestic institutions to develop research opportunities for pre-doctoral students. Applications may be submitted between April 25, 2020 – May 25, 2020. .

NIH Publishes COVID-19 Resources for Applicants and Grantees: The NIH has to help applicants and grantees navigate research activities during COVID-19. Included in these resources are newly compiled summary information on such topics as extended application deadlines and researcher safety. Michael Lauer, MD, the NIH Director of Extramural Research, summarizing this information, including details on the types of applications the NIH is utilizing to swiftly distribute funding to the research community during this time. In addition, NIH has compiled an .

HHS Offers New Website Access to all COVID-19 Grant Awards: Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has developed a new Tracking Accountability in Government Grants System that will allow the public to see important data, including tables and state-by-state graphics, on all HHS awards and cooperative agreements relating to funding for COVID-19. .

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