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Advocate with Us This Wednesday! Help #ElevateOME

 
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October 5, 2020

What You Need to Know

 

AACOM Virtual Day of Action

Now more than ever, we must ensure that federal policies and programs support health professionals and lead to a better quality of care for all. While AACOM continues to advocate in Washington, DC on behalf of the osteopathic medical education (OME) community, lawmakers also need to hear directly from you. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the healthcare challenges long plaguing our country, including the continued physician shortage, the mental health strain experienced by health professionals, stark health disparities across the country, the lack of resources in rural hospitals, and so much more. In just two days, OME advocates will virtually gather to send a message to Congress to request continued support for and investment in the future physicians who provide care to our nation.

 

This Wednesday, October 7, make sure your voice is heard and join us for the . Urge your lawmakers to support the federal health and higher education policies and programs that enable our osteopathic medical schools, students, and physicians to do their important work.

 

Be a strong voice for OME. for the AACOM Virtual Day of Action and let’s raise our voice together on October 7 to #ElevateOME!

On The Hill

President Signs Temporary Spending Bill

 

Last week, the President signed into law a continuing resolution to prevent a federal government shutdown, extending current funding through December 11 and buying time for Congress to continue negotiating all 12 appropriations bills. The spending package includes short-term funding for several important public health programs, including the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) Program, which was set to expire November 30. AACOM 17 national organizations in support of long-term reauthorization of these expiring public health programs. House and Senate leadership are working to avoid a government shutdown this December, but the upcoming election is expected to complicate negotiations. AACOM will continue our work to protect programs of importance to OME as Congress works to pass the fiscal year (FY) 2021 spending bills, and encourages you to take action in support of THCGME during our this Wednesday.

House Passes Updated COVID-19 Aid Package

 

Last week, the House passed a $2.2 trillion COVID-19 economic relief package as negotiations between U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stalled over state and local aid and liability protections. The Heroes Act (H.R. 925), while similar to the by House Democrats in May, would reduce proposed aid to state and local governments by more than half but would increase proposed education funding, including higher education funding. The updated and slimmed down bill reflects changes in COVID needs since May and is the result of compromise negotiations with the White House. Senate Republicans, who targeted $300 billion COVID bill in September, panned the Heroes Act due to the price tag. Therefore, it is not anticipated to become law.

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Advocacy

AACOM Virtual Day of Action

#ElevateOME This Wednesday—Send Congress a Message!

 

This Wednesday, October 7, join us for the and share your views with Congress! In addition to from policymakers, Hill staff, and political insiders, you will have the opportunity to nationally elevate OME priorities by tweeting your legislators, sending a message to your Representatives and Senators, or .

 

to receive our three advocacy emails on October 7 to help you use your unique voice for our community as we #ElevateOME!

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Administration and Federal Agencies

Practicing DOs: Apply Now for the NIH Extramural Loan Repayment Programs

 

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is currently accepting applications for its (LRPs). The NIH LRPs are designed to recruit and retain highly qualified health professionals into biomedical or biobehavioral research careers by helping alleviate some of the debt burden that drives many health professionals away from research activities. The NIH may repay up to $50,000 of qualified student loan debt per year for each awardee, in exchange for the commitment to conduct at least two years of NIH mission-relevant research for no less than 20 hours per week. Interested applicants may and submit an online application by November 20, 2020.

HRSA Offers National Research Service Awards for Primary Care

 

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is accepting applications for its . Named for the renowned NIH researcher, the program supports institutional training grants to develop and enhance opportunities for postdoctoral healthcare professionals in biomedical and behavioral health research in primary care. Applications are due by November 9, 2020.

DHS Issues Proposed Rule Impacting Student Visas

 

On September 25, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regarding the length of stay for nonimmigrant visas in the F, J, and I categories, which include nonimmigrant academic students and exchange visitors. Currently, student visas are issued for “duration of status,” meaning students may stay in the United States while enrolled in school to complete their degree. The proposed rule would require students to apply for an extension after a fixed term of no more than four years, with some students having to reapply after two years depending on their country of origin. DHS is accepting written comments through October 26.

Administration Issues Executive Order to Halt Diversity Training

 

The Administration recently issued an , a follow-up to a published by the White House Office of Management and Budget requiring that federal government agencies cease using federal dollars to fund diversity training. The EO expands the prohibition to federal government contracting and grants. Within 60 days, federal agency leaders must identify federal grant programs that could require recipients to certify that no federal funds would be used to promote specific concepts listed in the EO as a condition of receiving the grant. AACOM will continue to provide updates to membership on the implementation of this EO and its potential impact on our institutions.

Featured Federal Resources and COM Engagement

NHSC Students to Service Loan Repayment Program Application Online Q&A Session: HRSA will be hosting an on October 26 from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM ET for the FY21 National Health Service Corps Students to Service LRP. All fourth-year DO students are eligible and applications are due on November 5.

HHS Launches COVID-19 Data Hub: HHS Protect, a secure COVID-19 data ecosystem, provides timely and accurate data for the nation’s COVID-19 response at federal, state, and local levels. can be a valuable resource for colleges of osteopathic medicine tracking these numbers and includes estimated and reported hospital capacity by state, with numbers updated daily.

SAMHSA Introduces Training and Technical Assistance Resource: The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has to combat COVID-19 that may be useful in curriculum development, human resources policies, and more.

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