AACOM Member Webinar this Wednesday on Title IX Compliance, Congress Holds COVID-19 Hearings on Governor Response and College Reopening

ED to MED Advocates Work to Support Underserved Communities, Mental Health; Importance of COVID-19 Testing and Contact Tracing Stressed in Congressional Hearings; U.S. Dept. of Ed to Limit CARES Act Funding


June 15, 2020

What You Need to Know


AACOM Issues Statement on Racism and Injustice


Our nation’s African American communities are disproportionately dying from the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, their lives continue to be threatened by systemic racism, structural inequities, and racial violence. In recent weeks, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery were senselessly killed, horrific acts that have become all too frequent and familiar in America. Read and learn more about .

On The Hill

Congressional Committees Discuss Campus, State Reopenings


U.S. House and Senate committees held hearings earlier this month to examine the challenges of reopening states and institutions of higher education. In a June 2 House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations , which focused on state efforts to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, all three of the testifying governors agreed that COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, and medical supplies were necessary for states to reopen. The two Democratic governors also requested transparency from the Administration and a national COVID-19 testing strategy. The importance of testing and contact tracing were echoed during a June 4 , which featured a panel of college presidents who testified to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions on their plans to safely reopen campuses this fall. While committee Republicans and Democrats were split on the need for liability protections for colleges and universities, as well as the federal government’s role in helping campuses plan, both sides agreed on the importance of rigorous COVID-19 testing and contact tracing.

Senate Committees Advance OMB Director Nominee


Last week, the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and U.S. Senate Budget Committee voted to advance the President’s nominee, Russell Vought, as Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), where he has served as acting director since January 2019. Vought is preceded by Mick Mulvaney, who was appointed Acting White House Chief of Staff and now serves as Special Envoy for Northern Ireland. Vought previously served as OMB Deputy Director and is a former aide to the House Republican Study Committee and former vice president at Heritage Action. His nomination is expected to be confirmed in the Senate.




Beyond the Palm Trees: Advocating for the Underserved


Harris Ahmed, DO, MPH, graduate of the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine and recent AACOM , spoke with ED to MED about the moment that made him realize he wanted to become a physician, and how his experiences in advocacy and public policy inspired him to become a lifelong advocate for patients, medically underserved communities, and the health care profession. Watch Harris’ video interview and become inspired to start or deepen .

Aerial Petty, OMS-III, ACOM

It’s Never too Late to Advocate


It wasn’t until Aerial Petty began her third year at the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine that she realized all her work to advance mental health and diversity wasn’t just medicine, but advocacy. Once she understood that she had been advocating for her patients and community all along, she started actively seeking out as many advocacy opportunities as she could. Learn why she urges other osteopathic medical students, no matter how far along they happen to be in their medical school careers, to !



Administration and Federal Agencies

AACOM Webinar on Complying with Title IX


Last month, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) revising schools’ responses to sexual harassment and assault under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. The regulation carries the full weight of law and is scheduled to take effect on August 14. To assist the osteopathic medical education community, AACOM is hosting a webinar on Wednesday, June 17 at 1:00 PM ET featuring Debbie Osgood, Partner of Hogan, Marren, Babbo, and Rose, LTD, who will share her expertise on the impact of these new regulations. The webinar will address how the rule revises sexual misconduct policies and procedures; what the new requirements stipulate with respect to employees, live hearings, and evidence; and what colleges of osteopathic medicine must do to comply with the new Title IX requirements.

ED to Limit CARES Act Funding to Title IV-Eligible Students


ED is scheduled to soon publish its for receiving aid and funding assistance under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (P.L. 116-136). The interim final rule, which will be effective as soon as it is officially published in the Federal Register, states that only Title IV-eligible students can receive the funding, excluding undocumented and certain other student populations. According to the rule, ED claims that since Congress did not define “student” within the CARES Act, ED must exercise its own interpretation of the law, concluding that “Congress intended the category of those eligible for ‘emergency financial aid grants to students’ in section 18004 of the CARES Act to be limited to those individuals eligible for Title IV assistance.” ED had earlier issued reporting requirements and on CARES Act fund distribution, which lacked the “force and effect of law,” as noted in a , causing uncertainty as to whether or not ED would enforce the restrictions. The interim final rule aims to clarify this confusion, as it will carry the full force of law. Meanwhile, the policy faces legal challenges, with court decisions still pending in California and . AACOM will continue to closely monitor CARES Act funding implementation and provide updates to membership as more information becomes available.

NIH Offers Predoctoral Institutional Research Training Grant


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is accepting applications for its National Institute of General Medical Sciences research training grants. Named for the renowned NIH researcher, the program encourages advances in biomedical graduate training and will award grants to eligible domestic entities to develop research opportunities for predoctoral students. Applications are due by September 25, 2020.

Featured Federal Resources and COM Engagement

Save the Date: Webinar on Combating Health Care Worker Burnout: To increase awareness of burnout in the health professions, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is hosting a webinar on June 17 from 2:00 – 3:30 PM ET titled Combating Healthcare Provider Burnout in Clinical Settings. The webinar will review the causes and signs of clinician burnout and identify resources and preventative measures for early burnout intervention. .

Reminder: Faculty Loan Repayment Program Applications Due June 25: HRSA’s Bureau of Health Workforce (BHW) is accepting applications through June 25 for its fiscal year 2020 Faculty Loan Repayment Program (FLRP). The FLRP works to recruit and retain faculty members from disadvantaged backgrounds who have an eligible health professions degree or certificate by providing up to $40,000 to help repay qualifying educational loans. Applicants must have an employment commitment as a faculty member at an approved health professions institution for a minimum of two years. .

Reminder: Rural Residency Planning and Development Program Applications Due June 30: HRSA's Federal Office of Rural Health Policy is now accepting applications for the Rural Residency Planning and Development (RRPD) Program through June 30. In consultation with HRSA’s BHW, the RRPD Program aims to help develop newly accredited and sustainable rural residency programs or rural training tracks in family medicine, internal medicine, public health, and general preventive medicine, psychiatry, general surgery, and obstetrics and gynecology to support the expansion of the physician workforce in rural communities. .

CMS Publishes Additional COVID-19 FAQs: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently released additional frequently asked questions (FAQs) on recent COVID-19 related waivers to provide more information to help health professionals, physicians, hospitals, and rural health clinics. Review the .

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