Rep. Lee Urges VA to Research OMT to Treat Veteran Pain




May 16, 2022

AACOM in Action

What You Need to Know

Rep. Lee Encourages VA to Explore OMT for Treatment of Veteran Pain


At a on medical research at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Representative Susie Lee (D-NV) urged VA officials to study the effectiveness of osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) in addressing veteran pain.


AACOM supported Rep. Lee’s effort to highlight the importance of OMT care for the veteran population. Citing the Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine, Rep. Lee said she has “been impressed by OMT’s potential for supporting veterans managing pain and reducing opioid dependency.”


VA Chief Consultant, Health Outcomes Military Exposures, Patricia Hastings, DO, MPH, FACEP, RN, responded that she agrees OMT “does work very well with musculoskeletal pain, also works with visceral pain… so I do believe it should be looked at more.” Rep. Lee committed to following up with VA officials as Congress looks to “eliminate barriers” to further OMT research.

AACOM Announces New Osteopathic Health Policy Interns


Following a highly competitive review process, AACOM has selected two osteopathic medical students to participate in the association’s (OHPI) Program. Brianne Howerton (left), OMS IV, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) – Bradenton, and Chrissa Karagiannis (right), OMS III, Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine (TUCOM) – California, will each spend eight consecutive weeks working virtually with AACOM’s Government Relations department. Through this internship, Brianne hopes to gain skills and knowledge to help her more effectively advocate for improved access to healthcare in rural communities, while Chrissa aims to further advance her work addressing the nation’s opioid epidemic. .

AACOM Advocates

Raise Your Voice for OME Priorities


AACOM is proud to announce the policy priorities that advocates will be taking to their legislators this advocacy day. Join us on June 28 and 29 to shape the future of osteopathic medical education (OME) and ask Congress to:

  • Guarantee graduate medical education (GME) parity – DOs applying to residency must not face outright exclusion or added testing, certification or accreditation barriers
  • Increase National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding for colleges of osteopathic medicine – Build on AACOM success in the fiscal year 2022 omnibus appropriations bill to support increased research funding and representation for osteopathic medical schools at the NIH

Policy Update

CMS Announces Health Equity Plan


  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently its action plan to advance health equity and provide high-quality, affordable healthcare to everyone.
  • The outlines actions already taken, which includes the with a focus on rural areas, and future efforts by all CMS Centers and Offices.
  • AACOM will stay engaged with CMS and share best practices to address systemic inequities in the delivery of care.

Student Loan Interest Rates to Increase


  • Interest rates on new federal student loans will increase by more than a percentage point from their current levels on July 1, 2022:
    • direct loans for graduate students will increase to 6.54 percent, up from the current 5.28 percent;
    • federal PLUS loans will increase to 7.54 percent, up from the current 6.28 percent.
  • The new interest rates take effect for the 2022-2023 school year and are fixed for the lifetime of the loan. The rate increases affect only new federal student loans, not existing loans.

Engagement and Resources

White House Physician Speaks at Military Promotion Ceremony in Blacksburg: On May 6, 2022, the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine - Virginia Campus (VCOM-Virginia) military graduates were honored at the VCOM annual Military Promotion Ceremony. The Military Promotion Ceremony is an event where medical students who are members of the Health Professions Scholarship Program receive their promotions to the military rank and begin serving their country. Kevin C. O’Connor, DO, U.S. Army, Colonel (Retired), the current White House physician serving President Joseph Biden, delivered the keynote address. Dr. O’Connor encouraged the graduates to concentrate on teamwork, to work every day on how they conduct themselves while in service and to explore family medicine while in the military. Dr. O’Connor also stressed that the position of White House physician is non-partisan and such a great honor, but as a military physician, providing healthcare services to his fellow soldiers will always be the greatest honor he has ever had. VCOM is deeply honored to have educated these graduates as they begin their service as United States military physicians.

What Teaching Hospitals Need to Know About Changes to GME Payments: Building on its December 2021 final rule implementing changes to GME payments to teaching hospitals, the CMS recently released specific details on the new Rural Track Programs, requirements for hospitals requesting GME rate increases and other changes in Section 127 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021.

Apply for HRSA’s Rural Public Health Workforce Training Grant: The Health Resources and Services Administration’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy is awarding a $500,000 grant to provide technical assistance to rural healthcare networks responding to the critical need for more trained public health professionals. Specifically, the grantee will help rural healthcare networks expand the public health workforce capacity by supporting job development, training and placement in rural communities. Health professions schools, including COMs, are eligible to apply. .

New COGME Report on the Rural Health Workforce: Last month, the Council on Graduate Medical Education released its 24th Report, entitled Strengthening the Rural Health Workforce to Improve Health Outcomes in Rural Areas. The report recommends evidence-based, patient- and community-centered health workforce investments spanning education, training and practice as a means to improve access to healthcare in rural areas. .

CMS Leadership Outlines Strategic Vision: On April 26, CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure and her leadership team held an engaging stakeholder call to update the public on the CMS Strategic Vision to advance health equity and improve health outcomes. .

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

Check out the latest issue of Inside OME!

Don't get Inside OME? Subscribe for free today!






Copyright ©2022 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: aacomgr@aacom.org

Subscribe | Manage my subscriptions | Unsubscribe from all AACOM emails

Not a Washington Insider subscriber?

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