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October 17, 2022

AACOM in Action

What You Need to Know

Director of Government Relations Urges ACOM Students to Advocate for FAIR Act

AACOM’s Director of Government Relations Julie Crockett recently visited the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine (ACOM) in Dothan, Alabama where she spoke to students about AACOM’s federal advocacy efforts. The presentation focused on educating students about AACOM’s top legislative priority, the , which would ensure that osteopathic medical students and their exam, COMLEX-USA, are accepted in all Medicare-funded residency programs. Ms. Crockett highlighted opportunities for student advocacy and encouraged their engagement to build congressional support for the bipartisan legislation.

AACOM Advocates

Advocate Spotlight—Why Sarah Holzmann Advocates for the FAIR Act

Learn why Sarah Holzmann, OMS III at the California Health Sciences University College of Osteopathic Medicine, believes that we can’t increase access to person-centered care without . Sarah advocates for the FAIR Act not only to give all osteopathic medical students a fair chance at a competitive residency position, but also to support a more diverse healthcare workforce and increased equity for patients. Join Sarah in advocating for the FAIR Act and help If you are interested in sharing your advocacy story, please contact us at .

Maintain the Momentum—Urge Congress to Pass the FAIR Act

 

Did you know that more than 2,000 messages in support of the FAIR Act have been sent to Congress? We need every member of the osteopathic community to keep raising their voice! Help grow congressional support to ensure federally funded graduate medical education programs equitably accept and assess DO residency candidates. Act now to contact your Members of Congress and ask them to cosponsor the FAIR Act (H.R. 8850) or introduce a Senate companion bill.

Policy Update

Administration Unveils One-Time Student Loan Debt Relief Plan; Launches Beta Application

 

  • The U.S. Department of Education (ED) up to $10,000 in federal loan debt for borrowers making less than $125,000 ($250,000 for households) per year. The cancellation amount could rise to $20,000 if borrowers received a federal Pell grant.
  • Only borrowers with federal loans, including Graduate PLUS loans, with an outstanding balance as of June 30, 2022, or an application to consolidate by September 29, 2022, are eligible for relief. Borrowers with private loans are not eligible for debt relief at this time.
  • There is no federal tax burden on the relief amount, though some borrowers may have to pay state taxes, but have the option to opt out of the plan.
  • It is expected that the application process will open later in October and run through December 31, 2023.
  • In the interim, ED has . If you submit an application during beta launch, it will be processed when the form officially launches, and you won't need to resubmit. Completing the application takes about five minutes, and you don’t need to log in or provide any documents.
  • to learn more about this one-time debt cancellation plan and other changes to student lending.

TEPSLF Webinar and Application Deadline Approaching

 

  • Eligibility for ED’s Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness (TEPSLF) ends on October 31, 2022.
  • Attend a free national at 3:00 PM ET to learn from ED officials about how to maximize this opportunity.
  • To qualify for the TEPSLF waiver, eligible borrowers need to have made all their payments under a qualifying repayment plan, have at least 10 years of full-time qualifying employment, met minimum payment requirements for the 12 months prior to applying and made 120 qualifying payments.
  • for more information about this limited waiver opportunity.

PREP Act Extension Authorizes Health Professions Students to Administer Orthopoxvirus Vaccines

 

  • On October 3, 2022, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published in the Federal Register a to the January 1, 2016 Republished Declaration under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act.
  • The Secretary amended the declaration for smallpox countermeasures and countermeasures against other orthopoxviruses pursuant to section 319F-3 of the Public Health Service Act to emphasize that the declaration:
    • applies to monkeypox virus,
    • expands the categories of health professionals authorized to administer vaccines and therapeutics against smallpox (variola virus), monkeypox virus and other orthopoxviruses in a declared emergency, and
    • extends the duration of the declaration.
  • Effective September 28, 2022, students in a healthcare profession training program following a declaration of an emergency are considered “qualified persons” under the PREP Act and are authorized to administer smallpox (variola virus), monkeypox virus and other orthopoxvirus vaccines.

Engagement and Resources

Dr. Sid O’Bryant, TCOM professor (left), Dr. Frank Filipetto, dean of TCOM (right)

UNTHSC Institute for Translational Research Awarded $148.78 Million Grant from NIH to Study Biology of Alzheimer’s in Ethnically Diverse Groups: The Institute for Translational Research at The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth (UNTHSC) is the recipient of a five-year grant of up to $148.78 million from the National Institute on Aging, part of the National Institutes of Health. The grant will fund one of the largest studies ever of Alzheimer’s disease and is the biggest grant the University of North Texas System has received. Sid O’Bryant, PhD, professor at the UNTHSC Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, executive director of the Institute for Translational Research at HSC, will lead a team to conduct the first-ever, large-scale study of the biology of Alzheimer’s disease within a health disparities framework across the three largest racial and ethnic groups in the United States—African American, Mexican American and non-Hispanic white. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common neurodegenerative dementia, disproportionally impacting African Americans and Hispanics. about the groundbreaking study.

THCGME Grant Deadline Tomorrow: The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is awarding $18 million in 28 awards to support new primary care residency positions at new Teaching Health Centers (THCs) and to increase the number of residency positions at existing THCs. Grantees will prepare residents to provide high quality care, particularly in rural and underserved communities. .

Apply for Geriatrics Academic Career Awards: The HRSA Bureau of Health Workforce is accepting applications for Geriatrics Academic Career Awards. This program supports the career development of junior faculty as academic geriatricians or academic geriatrics specialists. .

Osteopathic Medical Schools—Apply Now for Mental and Behavioral Health Training Awards: HRSA is awarding $60 million to 23 recipients to train primary care residents in the prevention, identification, diagnosis, treatment and referral of services for mental and behavioral health conditions. HRSA is hosting a from 3:30 to 5:00 PM ET on October 18, 2022. .

Apply Now for Preventive Medicine Residency Funding: HRSA has announced $6.7 million for 16 awards to create new preventive medicine residencies at eligible entities, including colleges of osteopathic medicine. The goal of this program is to support access to preventive medicine and to integrate population health with primary care to improve the health of communities. .

Up to $120k in Loan Forgiveness Available to Qualifying Applicants: Fourth-year medical students can apply now for the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Students to Service Loan Repayment Program. The program offers up to $120,000 in loan repayment funds to eligible borrows who provide primary health services in Health Professional Shortage Areas for up to three years after graduation. AACOM and the NHSC recently held an on the program. .

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

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