AACOM Endorses Bill to Improve Health Care Access in Rural and Underserved Areas, Shares Strategies to Make 2020 Elections Count, and More

AACOM Quote of Support Included in Senate Press Releases, Opportunity for Prospective Students to Learn how to Finance their OME



January 27, 2020

What You Need to Know


AACOM Continues Efforts to Prioritize Rural Health Improvements

AACOM is a physician workforce that is adequately trained to meet the health care needs of all patients, especially those in rural and underserved areas who struggle the most with access to care. In December, AACOM in treating patients living in rural and underserved communities in its comments submitted to the House Ways and Means Committee’s Rural and Underserved Communities Health Task Force. Last October, AACOM joined with the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) to provide recommendations to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)’s request for information on . In addition, AACOM recently endorsed the Improving Access to Health Care in Rural and Underserved Areas Act, which would . AACOM looks forward to continuing its work with Congress to ensure federal policies support our nation’s osteopathic medical educators, physicians, and patients, particularly those in underserved areas.


AACOM Office of Government Relations

On The Hill

AACOM President and CEO Offers Support for Rural Health Bill


The Improving Access to Health Care in Rural and Underserved Areas Act (S. 3194), introduced by U.S. Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), seeks to alleviate the nation’s physician workforce shortage, particularly in rural and medically underserved communities. The bill would create a five-year pilot program providing grants to Federally Qualified Health Centers and Rural Health Clinics that support CME for PCPs. CME programs would be offered by specialists on a variety of schedules, with each training session covering a different specialty area with at least 50 percent of the training integrated into daily practice and patient care. AACOM worked closely with Senator Rosen’s office to introduce S. 3194, .


AACOM President and CEO Robert A. Cain, DO, stated in Senators and press releases announcing the bill’s introduction that “improving access to primary care in rural and underserved areas is an important goal of osteopathic medical education. AACOM thanks Senators Rosen and Murkowski for introducing this important legislation, which would extend lifelong learning opportunities to PCPs who serve the underserved. Supporting the continued growth and development of the PCPs treating our nation’s most vulnerable patients is commendable, and Senators Rosen and Murkowski should be applauded for the effort.”




Make 2020 Count: Prepare for this Year’s Elections


2020 is a major election year. As students, educators, and physicians, we all have a duty to stay informed and vote on issues and candidates that will shape health care and higher education policies for years to come. with ED to MED.

Remain Committed to Addressing Graduate Student Debt with ED to MED


AACOM recognizes the significant debt burden shouldered by osteopathic medical students and graduates, and the overall impact this debt has on those pursuing primary care and other critical specialties. At the start of the 116th Congress, both the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) and Grad PLUS Loan Programs to help address graduate student debt issues facing future osteopathic physicians. to remain steadfast in the effort to and .

Join Free Chat for Prospective Osteopathic Medical Students on Paying for Medical School


This Thursday, January 30, two members of AACOM’s Council of Student Financial Aid Administrators (CSFAA) will be hosting an online chat as part of AACOM’s Choose DO Medical School Virtual Expo, a for students and advisors interested in connecting with osteopathic medical schools around the country. The CSFAA chat will be held from 12 – 1 PM ET and will allow prospective medical students to ask questions directly to financial aid experts about financing their medical education. Hosts include:

  • Christine L. Willse, MBA, Associate Director of Student Financial Aid, Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine – Stratford Campus
  • Nicole McMillin, MPA, Director of Financial Aid, Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine

Meet with Congress About the Importance of Osteopathic Medicine


The AOA’s DO Day on Capitol Hill will take place on Monday, March 30 and Tuesday, March 31. DO Day is an exciting opportunity for DOs and osteopathic medical students to come to Washington, DC to meet with Members of Congress and their staff about the osteopathic profession and the importance of osteopathic medicine. DO Day participants will also engage with lawmakers and ask them to support legislation that is vital to the practice and principles of osteopathic medicine. .

Become a More Effective Leader: Register for the AOA’s LEAD Conference


The AOA’s LEAD Conference, designed for those interested in becoming a more active and effective leader in the osteopathic profession, will take place February 27 – 28 in Manalapan, Florida. LEAD, which stands for Leadership, Education, Advocacy & Development, is a great opportunity to enhance your leadership and advocacy skills in a relaxed setting that is perfect for networking. AACOM President and CEO Robert A. Cain, DO, will be hosting a breakout session during the conference on February 27 titled, “The Evolving Osteopathic Educational Ecosystem—What is Next?” .



Administration and Federal Agencies

Apply Now: HRSA Increases Anticipated Funding for Addiction Medicine Fellowship Program


HRSA available for the fiscal year 2020 Addiction Medicine Fellowship (AMF) Program to over $26 million, enabling HRSA to make approximately 33 awards. HRSA originally projected 25 awards for the program this cycle. The AMF Program aims to increase access in underserved communities to board certified addiction professionals who integrate primary care with mental health and substance use disorder prevention and treatment. Eligible applicants include U.S.-based sponsoring institutions of accredited addiction medicine or addiction psychiatry fellowship programs. A consortium consisting of at least one teaching health center and one sponsoring institution of an addiction medicine or addiction psychiatry fellowship program is also eligible to apply. Applications are due on Wednesday, February 25 at 11:59 PM ET. .

ED Establishes New Civil Rights Compliance Center


Secretary Betsy DeVos recently announced that the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Education will open the Outreach, Prevention, Education and Non-discrimination (OPEN) Center, which will focus on a proactive approach to . The OPEN Center seeks to promote equal access in education and will assist and support schools, educators, families, and students to ensure better awareness of the requirements and protections of federal non-discrimination laws. Typically, OCR enforces federal civil rights law through the complaint-resolution process, but OCR will now work more proactively to inform schools of their obligations under civil rights laws before the filing of a complaint. Established within OCR headquarters and led by Acting Director Christian Corrigan, the OPEN Center will provide a dedicated team of OCR civil rights attorneys that will focus on education, prevention, and outreach.

PCORI Announces New Executive Director


The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) has named cardiologist Nakela Cook, MD, MPH, as its next Executive Director. Spearheading the development and implementation of precision medicine, data science, sickle cell disease, and women’s health initiatives, Dr. Cook currently serves as Senior Scientific Officer and Chief of Staff for the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, which is one of the largest institutions within the National Institutes of Health (NIH). As PCORI Executive Director, Dr. Cook will lead the institute’s dissemination, implementation, research, and engagement work. She will also provide strategic and day-to-day oversight of ongoing programs and new initiatives designed to .

Featured Federal Resources and COM Engagement

Apply for NIH Funding to Research Intersection of Opioid Use and Pain Management: Investigators with active grants in the area of chronic pain and/or addiction are encouraged to apply to the Notice of Special Interest for research on . Awardees will operate within the , a part of the . The deadline for applications is March 13, 2020.

Register Now for the HRSA Healthy Grants Workshops: This year, HRSA will host three workshops in cities across the country, including Rockville, Chicago, and Seattle, to assist existing HRSA grantees with managing their grants. During these workshops, grantees will attend various breakout sessions, network with other grantees and HRSA staff, and gain a better understanding of how to successfully navigate the grant process. .

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