U.S. Department of Education Posts Updated Statement on CARES Act Student Aid, New Executive Order Instructs Federal Agencies to Roll Back Regulations in Effort to Stimulate Economy, U.S. Withdraws from WHO



June 1, 2020

What You Need to Know


AACOM Advocates for PPP Extension and COVID-19 Research; Celebrates New DOs


AACOM continues to work with Congress and federal agencies to advance policies and programs that support the osteopathic medical education (OME) community in its response to COVID-19 and recently endorsed legislation that would modify the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to of personal protective equipment (PPE) and grant supplemental funding for U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs . In addition, we have advocated for of education, public health, health research, job training, and social services programs in fiscal year (FY) 2021. Consistent and robust investment in these programs will be critical to address the long-term impacts of COVID-19 and help us prepare for future pandemics. While the future remains uncertain, we remain committed to supporting the future of the osteopathic profession, and we especially recognize 2020 graduates, our newest DOs, who are celebrating this important milestone in such unprecedented times. From AACOM staff and our prestigious guest, congratulations on your accomplishment and !

AACOM 2020 Graduation Video

On The Hill

AACOM Submits Testimony on FY21 Funding Priorities to Senate Labor-HHS-Ed


AACOM last month to the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee outlining its FY21 funding priorities, including, among others, the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education Program, National Health Service Corps, and Title VII health professions education programs administered through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Title VII programs support the training and education of health practitioners to enhance the supply, diversity, and distribution of the health care workforce, acting as an essential part of the health care safety net and filling the gaps in the supply of health professionals not met by traditional market forces. As the demand for health professionals increases in the face of impending shortages and our country’s pandemic response, addressing these needs will be crucial to easing the strain on an already fragile health care system.

AACOM Endorses Bill to Allow PPE Purchasing with Small Business Loans


Last month, U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) introduced the Paycheck Protection Program Extension Act (S. 3833), a bill to extend and increase flexibility for the PPP, which was established by the to provide loans for small businesses. This measure would provide additional time for small business employers to use loan funds, allowing for the purchase of PPE and adaptive investments needed to reopen safely. AACOM has this legislation and continues to assess other measures that would provide financial support and contribute to public safety as the response to this pandemic persists.

AACOM Joins Letter in Support of Supplemental VA Research Funding


As a member of the Friends of VA Medical Care and Health Research (FOVA), AACOM nearly 100 national organizations in a letter to congressional Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee leadership requesting additional support for the VA COVID-19 response and the maintenance of a robust budget trajectory for VA research in FY21 to support continued momentum of all research efforts. FOVA was founded more than 30 years ago to ensure that America’s veterans receive high-quality health care supported by veteran-centric research.




Sean Friefeld

OBI National Director Shares Advocacy Journey with ED to MED


It wasn’t until Sean Friefeld, second-year student at Nova Southeastern University Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine, knew that he wanted to become a physician that he also became interested in advocacy, realizing that protecting and treating patients takes shape in more than one form. Now, as the National Director of Omega Beta Iota (OBI): National Osteopathic Political Action Honor Society, he encourages the osteopathic community to commit to advocacy for life. Learn why he recommends that all health professions students .

Amanah Fatima

Easing the Financial Burden of Serving Others: A Lifelong Dream of Giving Back


Amanah Fatima, second-year student at the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences College of Osteopathic Medicine – Joplin Campus and OBI’s National Recruitment Liaison, knew she wanted to become a doctor when she was four years old. After volunteering in free health clinics, she began to understand the impact of health disparities and social inequality in our country and became passionate about practicing medicine in an underserved area. At the same time, she is ever conscious of her growing medical student debt, which is why she is a dedicated advocate for protecting the federal programs that help health professions students go on to serve the underserved. Join Amanah today and help ED to MED !



Administration and Federal Agencies

Update on Executive Actions; U.S. Withdraws from WHO


On May 29, President Trump announced the decision to formally withdraw the U.S. from the World Health Organization (WHO). The President stated that funding the U.S. previously provided to the WHO will now be directed worldwide to address global health public needs. Additionally, the President issued from China. Effective June 1, with the exception of undergraduate students, the proclamation bars entry of Chinese nationals entering the U.S. on an F or J visa to study or conduct research. These actions follow the signing of an Executive Order earlier in May titled which directed federal agencies to consider deregulatory actions that could spur economic growth amid COVID-19. It also directs agency leaders to “identify regulatory standards that may inhibit economic recovery,” highlighting that regulations could be permanently or temporarily lifted. It instructs executive branch departments and agencies to “support the economic response to the COVID-19 outbreak” through tools at their disposal, including guidance, and enforcement and regulatory revisions. AACOM will continue to assess these executive actions and their impact on the OME community.

New Funding Opportunity: HRSA Planning Awards Supporting Rural Communities’ Opioid Response


HRSA’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy for high-risk, rural communities to support prevention, treatment, and recovery services to address substance use disorder (SUD), including opioid use disorder (OUD), through the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Planning (RCORP-Planning). The RCORP is a multi-year effort aimed at reducing morbidity and mortality resulting from SUD, including OUD, and strengthening and expanding the capacity of rural communities to address these issues. Eligible entities must apply by July 13.

CDC Releases Reopening Considerations for Higher Education Institutions


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for institutes of higher education (IHEs) to consider before reopening their campuses. According to the CDC, these guiding principles and practices, intended to help keep students and employees safe and slow the spread of COVID-19 on campus, should be implemented in consultation with state and local public health officials. Additionally, CDC reiterates that the considerations are intended to supplement, not replace, existing state and local laws and regulations with which IHEs must comply. For further information, AACOM members may also review the .

ED Posts Updated Statement on CARES Act Student Aid


On May 21, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) posted an updated statement to its CARES Act implementation web page for receiving funding authorized by the law. ED’s initial April 21 guidance did not allow students who are ineligible for Title IV federal student aid to receive Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund aid through the CARES Act, thus excluding certain student populations including international students and those enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. ED’s updated statement explains that the “guidance documents lack the force and effect of law,” which is being interpreted by some leaders in the higher education community as ED no longer enforcing these eligibility requirements. However, the statement also reiterates ED’s original guidance, generating uncertainty. AACOM will continue to closely monitor implementation of CARES Act funding and engage with the Department on behalf of the OME community.

Featured Federal Resources and COM Engagement

Rural Residency Resource Portal: Supported by HRSA, the RuralGME.org consortium, led by the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, of which the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine is a partner, brings together partners in every specialty and experts from across the country in all aspects of rural graduate medical education. The consortium has launched an online rural residency portal to provide support and resources to assist stakeholders in the development of new rural residency programs. The portal offers online events and provides resources on rural residency programs in every specialty and is separated by regional hubs. .

NIGMS Extends Deadline for Applications: The National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of General Medical Science (NIGMS) has extended their deadline for NIGMS funding opportunities. Due to COVID-19, NIGMS will accommodate the late submission of applications for due dates in May 2020 through June 30, 2020. .

CDC Highlights COVID-19 Trainings: The CDC is offering a course on the to assist clinical and public health laboratory professionals. The course will identify laboratory hazards and risks and explore PPE options, limitations, and considerations for selecting appropriate PPE tools. Additionally, the CDC is highlighting for stakeholders an introductory online course offered by the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials and National Coalition of STD Directors for entry-level COVID-19 contact tracers. This will support state specific contact tracing training and focus on building knowledge for remote contact tracing.

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