February 7, 2022

AACOM in Action

What You Need to Know

Senate Committee Releases Draft Pandemic Preparedness Legislation


On January 25, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee released a draft of bipartisan legislation designed to improve readiness for future public health emergencies—The Prepare for and Respond to Existing Viruses, Emerging New Threats, and Pandemics Act (PREVENT Pandemics Act).


AACOM is provisions from the Student Assisted Vaccination Effort (SAVE) Act into the PREVENT Pandemics Act to allow qualified, supervised health professions students to contribute to vaccination efforts in future federally declared public health emergencies. The Federation of Associations of Schools of the Health Professions in supporting this addition.


Among the bill’s provisions are several health workforce items, including:

  • A Government Accountability Office report on recruitment of the frontline public health workforce;
  • Expansion of a student loan repayment program for those at state, local and tribal public health departments;
  • A National Task Force on the Response of the United States to the COVID-19 Pandemic. AACOM is working to ensure DO representation on this and all relevant task forces as well as DO access to any applicable student loan repayment program.

Read the of the legislation for more information.

AACOM Advocacy Win: $19.2 Million Available for Teaching Health Center Residency Programs


The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) $19.2 million in American Rescue Plan funding to support the training of residents in new and expanded primary care residency programs in community-based settings through the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) Program. This funding is the implementation of the THCGME expansion that AACOM successfully advocated for. The THCGME Program fosters the training of primary care physicians and dentists, particularly in rural and underserved areas. More than half of these residents are DOs.

  • Up to 30 grantees will receive funding to support new resident full-time equivalent positions at new and existing teaching health centers.
  • HRSA will host a on February 11 at 2:00 PM ET.
  • Applications are due March 31. .

AACOM Advocates


Tell Congress to Pass DO GME Parity Legislation!

Join the osteopathic medical education (OME) community in urging Congress to ensure all residency programs are open to DO graduates. Medicare accounts for 71 percent of all graduate medical education (GME) funding. Yet more than 20 percent of Medicare GME programs will not accept DO graduates or impose costly, burdensome and unnecessary requirements for DO participation. These practices exacerbate the workforce shortage by limiting access to osteopathic physicians. Congress must pass legislation that prohibits residency programs receiving federal GME funding from discriminating against DOs.

Policy Update

VA Proposed Rule on Pilot GME Program


  • The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) issued a proposed rule to implement a new GME pilot program. The pilot will enable the VA to fund residents regardless of whether they train in VA facilities and pay for certain costs of new residency programs that might also not be in VA facilities.
  • The proposal details the VA’s plan to administer the program and outlines covered facilities, costs and other requirements for participation. The VA is requesting comments by April 5.
  • AACOM’s analysis is forthcoming. .

ED Announces New Actions Under HEERF


  • The U.S. Department of Education (ED) is the application period to give eligible institutions of higher education (IHEs) more time to submit relevant documents for grant funding through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), with a deadline of March 7.
  • ED also for new grants under the Supplemental Support Program in the American Rescue Plan to IHEs with the greatest unmet needs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications are due April 4.

CFPB to Begin Examining Institutional Loans


  • On January 20, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it would begin examining post-secondary schools that extend private loans directly to their students.
  • The CFPB is concerned about institutional loans because of past abuses at schools, which have not historically been subject to the same oversight as traditional lenders.
  • Among the issues to be reviewed by the CFPB are placing enrollment restrictions, withholding transcripts, improperly accelerating payments, failing to issue refunds and maintaining improper lending relationships. See the CFPB's for more information.

House Advances Research and Innovation Bill with Higher Ed Provisions


  • On Friday, the House approved along party lines the America Creating Opportunities for Manufacturing, Pre-Eminence in Technology and Economic Strength () Act of 2022.
  • Similar to the Senate’s version, the , the bill would make investments in the nation’s scientific research, technology, economy and national security.
  • It also includes provisions relevant to the OME community, such as expanding access to STEM education and increased transparency of foreign gift reporting. .
  • The initiative is a priority for the Biden Administration. Democratic leaders aim to reconcile the House and Senate versions and send a final package to the president before the end of the month.

Engagement and Resources

NIH Funding Available for Small-Scale Projects: Faculty at eligible osteopathic medical schools should apply now to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Research Enhancement Award Program (REAP) for Health Professional Schools and Graduate Schools. The REAP Program intends to strengthen the research environment at health professions institutions and enables scientists to receive support for small-scale research projects. Qualifying osteopathic medical schools are those that have received less than $6 million per year of NIH support (total costs) in four of the last seven fiscal years. .

March 31 – Deadline for New GME Slots: Eligible hospitals for new GME slots by March 31, 2022. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will make 200 residency slots available per year, beginning in 2023, until all 1,000 slots have been allocated. Learn more about .

Apply for AACOM’s Osteopathic Health Policy Internship (OHPI) Program: AACOM is accepting applications for the 2022—2023 OHPI Program, a unique eight-week virtual internship for osteopathic medical students. Interns will strengthen AACOM’s federal advocacy efforts and develop knowledge of federal healthcare and higher education policy. Applications are due February 11, 2022 at 11:59 PM ET. .

HRSA Releases 2021 Health Workforce Fact Sheet: HRSA released its . Among the notable accomplishments, HRSA awarded $23 million to 47 new awardees as part of the Teaching Health Center Development Program with an additional $330 million to be awarded in the coming months. Furthermore, HRSA identifies upcoming funding opportunities for health workforce initiatives, including $400 million in American Rescue Plan funding for the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment and Scholarship Program.

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

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