AACOM Shares Resources for PSLF Borrowers, Invites Applications to Internship Program



November 16, 2020

What You Need to Know


Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, voter turnout for the 2020 election hit an historic 50-year high, exceeding the 2008 record with even more votes still to be counted. AACOM thanks everyone in the osteopathic medical education (OME) community who exercised their right to vote. This important action ensures you have a direct influence on who represents you in the federal government and helps you impact the federal policies and programs that affect you, your patients, your communities and your future. AACOM looks forward to working with the 117th Congress and the new administration on the federal policy priorities important to OME.

On The Hill

Biden Elected President; Dems Maintain Control of House with Senate Undecided


Former Vice President Joe Biden was elected the 46th President of the United States, with his inauguration set to take place on January 20, 2021. However, President Donald Trump’s campaign is contesting the election results due to unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud and has sought to delay the transition process.


In the US House of Representatives, Democrats retained their majority by a narrow margin, losing multiple seats and critical leverage. Control of the Senate remains uncertain, with two Georgia run-off elections in January set to decide a Republican majority or a potential 50-50 split. Several congressional committees of relevance to OME, including the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, are expected to experience shifts in both their leadership and member composition.


A full analysis of the 2020 election results and their impact on OME is forthcoming. As the 117th Congress begins its work next year, AACOM will continue to advocate for key higher education and healthcare priorities on behalf of the OME community, and looks forward to educating returning and new members alike to demonstrate the value OME brings to addressing the nation’s healthcare challenges.

Senate Appropriations Committee Introduces Bill to Increase Health and Higher Education Spending


On November 10, the US Senate Appropriations Committee released its fiscal year (FY) 2021 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS-Ed) spending bill. The $184.47 billion package provides $73.2 billion for the US Department of Education (ED) and $96.3 billion for the US Department of Health and Human Services in base, non-defense discretionary funding. The draft bill is a starting point for House and Senate appropriators as they negotiate all 12 FY21 spending bills before funding expires on December 11. Also set to expire on December 11 is short-term funding for several important public health programs, including the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) Program. AACOM 17 national organizations in support of long-term reauthorization of these expiring public health programs, and we urge you to in support of sustaining the THCGME Program long-term. Increased, stable THCGME funding is vital to help ensure certainty for the program and to allow THCs to continue to train physicians who work in communities of need.


AACOM submitted testimony to and Labor-HHS-Ed Appropriations Subcommittees in support of funding for programs of importance to OME, including funding for health professions education programs, the THCGME Program, and the National Health Service Corps (NHSC), and will continue to advocate for support of these programs as FY21 appropriations activity continues.




ED to MED Interviews Jason DiLorenzo, founder of PSLFjobs

Public Service Loan Forgiveness Job Seekers: Use This Resource!


In 2015, Jason DiLorenzo founded to support health professions students as they navigate their federal loan options. Of the thousands of doctors that have come through Doctors Without Quarters, about 80 percent were candidates for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF). To help connect PSLF job seekers with PSLF positions, Jason founded , a jobs platform and resource designed to make the search easier. AACOM’s campaign spoke with Jason about the PSLFjobs site, his advice for health professions students interested in the PSLF Program, and COVID-19’s impact on borrowers.

Osteopathic Medical Students: Apply for Our Virtual Health Policy Internship!


Apply today to AACOM’s 2021 – 2022 virtual , open to osteopathic medical students (typically OMS-III or OMS-IV) as part of AACOM’s . As an intern, you will gain firsthand experience working at the national level on healthcare and higher education policy issues. “I have translated the policy skills I gained from this internship to my residency program and will continue to utilize the skills developed throughout my career," says Class of 2020 OHPI alumnus Harris Ahmed, DO, MPH. "Having completed this internship, I have gained significant legitimacy in health policy circles across the US.” Apply for this virtual internship by January 29, 2021. .



Administration and Federal Agencies

Medical Students Can Still Apply for Students to Service Loan Repayment


Fourth-year osteopathic medical students can still apply for the 2021 Health Resources and Services Administration’s NHSC . The application deadline has been extended to Thursday, December 3 at 7:30 PM EST. The S2S LRP provides up to $120,000 in loan repayment assistance to medical or dental students in their final year of school in exchange for a commitment to provide primary healthcare services in eligible health professional shortage areas with the greatest needs. Students are encouraged to visit the for technical assistance and to view recorded webinars about the program. !

Predoctoral Students: Apply for NIH Grants to Promote Diversity, Research and Clinical Training


Predoctoral students are encouraged to apply for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) . Named for the renowned NIH researcher, this award aims to enhance the diversity of the research workforce by supporting the training of predoctoral students from diverse backgrounds underrepresented in the clinical, behavioral or biomedical research workforce. Applications are due on January 25, 2021.


Eligible students are also encouraged to apply for the NIH . This program is intended to enhance the research and clinical training of predoctoral, dual-degree students who seek careers as physicians/clinician-scientists. Applications for this fellowship are also due on January 25, 2021.

ED Rolls Out PSLF Updates for Student Borrowers


ED’s office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) has announced two updates to the PSLF Program. Beginning in mid-November, FSA will update the with a redesigned interface and format, which should allow borrowers to more easily determine their eligibility. Students already enrolled in the PSLF Program should be able to see their employment history. FSA will also be launching a new PSLF form, combining the forgiveness application and employment certification into one document. AACOM will provide more information on the new PSLF Help Tool and form once they are available.

Featured Federal Resources and COM Engagement

Members of the Institute for Neuro-Immune Medicine (INIM) team: Maria Vera-Nunez, MD, MS; Irma Rey, MD; Nancy Klimas, MD, professor and director of the INIM; Alison Bested, MD; and Irina Rozenfeld, MSN, APRN

From left: members of the Institute for Neuro-Immune Medicine (INIM) team: Maria Vera-Nunez, MD, MS; Irma Rey, MD; Nancy Klimas, MD, professor and director of the INIM; Alison Bested, MD; and Irina Rozenfeld, MSN, APRN (photo taken pre-COVID)

NSU Institute for Neuro-Immune Medicine Receives $4 Million CDC Grant for ‘COVID Long Haulers’ Study: Nancy Klimas, MD, Director of the Institute for Neuro-Immune Medicine at Nova Southern University (NSU) and Professor of Medicine and Chair of the Department of Clinical Immunology at the NSU Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine, has helped secure a $4 million federal contract with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). NSU is the only institution to receive this CDC grant to study the long-term effects of COVID-19. In collaboration with the Florida Department of Health, NSU will identify 2,200 diverse individuals to take part in the study via on-going, online surveys, while a small subgroup will participate in clinic-based assessments. “We need to understand and describe this new disease and we’re still in the early stages of learning about it,” said Dr. Klimas. “This study will provide the chance to see patients early on in their conditions, and that’s vital for development treatments.” .

RowanSOM Awarded Federal Grant to Address Substance Abuse: The Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine (RowanSOM) recently received a $1 million grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to provide substance use and HIV prevention services to boys and young men from racial and ethnic minority populations. As RowanSOM’s Chief of Infectious Disease, Judith Lightfoot, DO, will work in collaboration with the Atlantic County Sheriff’s Department and other community organizations to address health disparities for Black and Latino patients. The SAMHSA grant targets males from minority populations, ages 13 to 24, who are at high risk of contracting HIV and will support a prevention navigator that will deliver services to at least 1,500 individuals over the next five years in schools, workplaces, farms, churches and communities throughout New Jersey. .

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