AACOM Achieves Legislative Victories for OME

AACOM Spearheads Declaration Creating Student Vaccinators


March 22, 2021

What You Need to Know


Students Assist America (SAA), an interprofessional initiative of 12 associations spearheaded by AACOM, for a Seventh Amendment to the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act Declaration authorizing students from designated health professions to administer COVID-19 vaccinations. The change, following months of advocacy, opens the door for almost one million skilled medical, nursing, pharmacy, dental, veterinary, PA, optometry and other health professions students to administer COVID-19 vaccines with supervision.

On The Hill

AACOM Advocacy Efforts Yield Key OME Provisions in COVID-19 Stimulus Package


On March 11, President Biden signed into law The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (P.L. 117-2), the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package passed through budget reconciliation. Importantly, the bill includes numerous provisions vital to osteopathic medical education (OME), including $330 million to expand the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education Program; $39.6 billion for institutions of higher education, including colleges of osteopathic medicine (COMs); $7.7 billion for public health workforce expansion; and $40 million for improving health professionals’ mental and behavioral health. In addition, the package provides funding for rural hospitals, vaccines, testing and COVID-19 medical supplies. Read AACOM's on the legislation and view to learn more about provisions of interest to OME.

COMs: Submit Your Community Project Funding Requests for FY22 Beginning March 29


The congressional appropriations process is underway for fiscal year (FY) 2022. For the first time in over a decade, the is allowing Members of Congress to request funding for up to 10 Community Projects (also referred to as earmarks). These Community Projects, on behalf of state and local governments and eligible nonprofits, are intended to meet the needs of a community and must adhere to strict funding and engagement parameters. Members of Congress may begin submitting Community Projects via the US House of Representatives’ internal electronic system on March 29. Members of the OME community are encouraged to consider a request for funding (i.e., infrastructure funding for research). If interested, AACOM Government Relations (GR) encourages COMs to thoroughly review HAC guidance available and . The Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS-Ed) provided , which notes facilities for schools of medicine. Importantly, please also contact your Member of Congress for specific requirements and individual office deadlines. A submitted request does not guarantee funding. Please notify AACOM GR at if you or your institution plans to submit a Community Project funding request to your Member of Congress.

AACOM Advocates for the Primary Care Physician Workforce


AACOM has the Improving Access to Health Care in Rural and Underserved Areas Act (S. 201), reintroduced by US Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). The bill seeks to alleviate the nation’s physician workforce shortage, particularly in rural and medically underserved areas, by creating a five-year pilot program, which would provide grants to Federally Qualified Health Centers and Rural Health Clinics to support continuing medical education for primary care physicians. AACOM this legislation in the 116th Congress and continues to advocate for expanded access to primary care.

Lawmakers Introduce AACOM-Endorsed GME Expansion Bill


AACOM the bipartisan Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2021 (S. 834) that would help address the nation’s physician shortage by adding 14,000 Medicare-funded graduate medical education (GME) residency positions over seven years. by US Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ), John Boozman (R-AR) and Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY), the bill included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 and gives priority to hospitals in rural and medically underserved areas, hospitals in states with new medical schools and hospitals already training over their caps. AACOM joined the GME Advocacy Coalition in support of this important legislation, and this bill in the 116th Congress.

AACOM Prioritizes HRSA and NIH FY22 Funding


AACOM 111 national organizations of the Friends of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) coalition in a letter to House and Senate LHHS-Ed Appropriations leadership requesting $9.2 billion for HRSA in FY22. Additional funding will allow HRSA to fill preventive and primary healthcare gaps, support the urgent and long-term public health workforce needs and build upon the achievements of HRSA’s more than 90 programs and more than 3,000 grantees. AACOM also 361 national organizations of the in a letter to Congress requesting $46.1 billion in FY22 funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The letter requests continued prioritization for scientific innovation and progress in medical research, particularly as NIH-funded research is crucial to combating the COVID-19 pandemic.


Administration and Federal Agencies

AACOM-Led Initiative Achieves Success with HHS, Enabling Health Professions Students to Administer COVID-19 Vaccines


On March 12, the Biden Administration adopted AACOM’s (SAA) priority, issuing the to the PREP Act. The declaration extends liability protections to specified health professions students, including osteopathic medical students, to administer COVID-19 vaccinations under supervision. Spearheaded by AACOM, SAA is an interprofessional initiative of 12 associations that seeks opportunities for health professions students to support the US healthcare system and address the COVID-19 pandemic. SAA in response to the White House’s recognition of student vaccinators. The OME community should visit the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response for more information, resources and forthcoming implementation guidance.

Biden Directs ED Review of Title IX Regulations


In a March 8 (EO), President Biden directed the US Department of Education to review, within 100 days, whether existing regulations and guidance comport with the Administration’s antidiscrimination policy. The EO states that “all students should be guaranteed an educational environment free from discrimination on the basis of sex.” The review will include the , and Secretary Cardona must determine whether it should be “suspended, revised or rescinded.” Prior to the issuance of the EO, 115 Democratic Members of the US House of Representatives sent a to Secretary Cardona urging that he reverse the existing Title IX rule and issue temporary guidance addressing Title IX protections. Further, a high school in California filed a lawsuit seeking that the US District Court for the Northern District of California set aside the existing Title IX regulations. AACOM will update membership as this issue unfolds within the Administration and the Courts. .

Becerra Sworn in as HHS Secretary


On March 19, Xavier Becerra was sworn in as the nation’s 25th Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Most recently, Becerra served as the Attorney General of California and previously represented the Los Angeles area in the US House of Representatives for 24 years. As Secretary of HHS, Becerra is immediately tasked with leading our country through COVID-19 pandemic recovery, strengthening our healthcare system and supporting our physician workforce. AACOM will engage with Secretary Becerra and his team at HHS to elevate and advance OME.



Take Action! Help Promote Mental and Behavioral Health Among Healthcare Professionals


The COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating depression, burnout, addiction and suicide among our healthcare professionals. Please join the OME community in urging Congress to sign on to the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act, which aims to reduce and prevent suicide, burnout, and mental and behavioral health conditions among healthcare professionals.

Advocates: Urge Congress to Support CME for Primary Care Physicians


Primary care access is vital to health. Primary care physicians offer patients a reliable source of care, early disease detection and treatment, chronic disease management and preventative care. Join us in advocating for the Improving Access to Health Care in Rural and Underserved Areas Act (S. 201), which would support continuing medical education for primary care physicians, especially in rural and medically underserved areas.

Deadline Extended: Apply by April 15 for AACOM’s Osteopathic Health Policy Fellowship


Develop the skills you need to analyze, formulate and implement health policy on the local, state and national levels. Apply for AACOM’s Osteopathic Health Policy Fellowship, a prestigious, year-long leadership training program for osteopathic physicians and other associated health professionals, .

Featured Federal Resources and COM Engagement

NYITCOM Assistant Professor Receives Prestigious NSF CAREER Grant: Aki Watanabe, PhD, assistant professor of anatomy at the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine, has become the school’s first faculty member to receive the prestigious and highly competitive Faculty Early Career Development Program award from the National Science Foundation. The grant will allow Watanabe to use new research techniques to learn how the brain influences the development and evolution of the skull, and vice versa, using birds as a model system, potentially helping clinicians better understand cranial birth defects in newborns. He will draw on his love of music and virtual reality game design to satisfy the award’s education component. .

SAMHSA PCSS-Universities Grant Program Open to COMs: Applications are open through April 20 under the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)’s Provider Clinical Support System-Universities grant program to ensure certain health professions students, including osteopathic medical students, are trained to provide medication-assisted treatment (MAT) services to persons with an opioid use disorder (OUD). Students that satisfy the training requirements obtain a Drug Addiction Treatment Act waiver to prescribe MAT in office-based settings. .

SAMHSA MAT-PDOA Grant Program Open: Eligible nonprofits are invited to apply for a SAMHSA FY21 Medication-Assisted Treatment Prescription Drug and Opioid Addiction grant through April 27. The purpose of this program is to expand and enhance access to MAT services for persons with an OUD seeking or receiving MAT. .

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

Check out the of Inside OME!

Don't get Inside OME? !





ED to MED is a national grassroots campaign launched by the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine.





Join the

campaign today!

Copyright ©2021 American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine. All Rights Reserved.

American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine

Government Relations

7700 Old Georgetown Road, Suite 250, Bethesda, MD 20814

Contact the editors:

| |

Not a Washington Insider subscriber?

It's free and you may cancel at any time.