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Share Your Story with Congress on October 7

 
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September 8, 2020

What You Need to Know

 

AACOM Virtual Day of Action

We as an osteopathic medical education (OME) community have long advocated for federal policies and programs that contribute to a healthier society. We have called on Congress to address the physician workforce shortage, expand medical residency opportunities, make medical education more affordable and accessible, and ensure that patients in every community, especially those in rural and medically underserved areas, can access a local physician. The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of our efforts and heightened the need for continued action. Congress needs to hear from you.

 

Be a voice for OME. and let’s raise our voice together on October 7 to #ElevateOME!

On The Hill

Update on COVID-19 Stimulus Negotiations

 

Today, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced a new, targeted Republican COVID-19 aid bill, which the Senate plans to vote on this week. The bill excludes a new round of stimulus checks and includes more money for coronavirus testing and schools, as well as liability protections for companies, schools, and healthcare providers amid the pandemic. With a net cost of $300 billion, the bill’s funding level is less than half of the $1 trillion package Republicans in late July. GOP leadership hopes to protect vulnerable Senate Republicans and force a tough political vote for Senate Democrats ahead of the upcoming election but is not expected to get the 60 votes needed to advance the bill.

 

Additionally, with the end of the fiscal year approaching and government funding set to run out after September 30, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have tentatively agreed to work on a short-term funding bill, or continuing resolution, to keep the government open beyond the deadline. This would separate the issue of government funding from the COVID-19 relief negotiations, which remain stalled over the funding level.

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Advocacy

AACOM Virtual Day of Action

#ElevateOME! Share Your Story with Congress on October 7

 

Members of Congress need and value personal stories from their constituents, but don’t always get to hear them. As members of the OME community, we cannot let our stories go untold. Congress must understand what it’s like to be an osteopathic medical student learning to care for others, an osteopathic medical educator training the next generation of DOs, or an osteopathic physician working on the frontlines to treat individuals suffering from COVID-19. This AACOM Virtual Day of Action, to tell Congress about the importance of federal policies and programs that help you contribute to a healthier community.

Caring for the Whole Patient: How an ED to MED Advocate Pursues Policy and Medicine

 

As an undergraduate student, Brooke Grill was torn between a career in public policy or medicine. When she became involved with advocacy work during her undergraduate education, she realized that she would be able to pursue both of her passions as a physician, and even as a student doctor. Now, as a third-year medical student at the West Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Brooke is am amazed by just how influential .

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Administration and Federal Agencies

Now Open: 2021 NHSC Students to Service Loan Repayment Program

 

Osteopathic medical students may now apply for the 2021 Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)’s National Health Service Corps . 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 health care services in eligible health professional shortage areas with the greatest needs. Applications are due by 7:30 PM ET on November 5. Interested individuals may participate in an application webinar on Tuesday, September 15 from 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM ET. .

ED Issues Final Rule on Distance Learning and Innovation

 

On September 2, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) issued its on distance learning and innovation for higher education, a result of consensus-backed language crafted in 2019. In May 2020, AACOM to ED Secretary Betsy DeVos urging ED to recognize the unique nature of medical education and not inflict any undue burdens on medical students that receive critical instruction during core, out-of-state clinical rotations. Additionally, AACOM requested that osteopathic medical schools not face undue financial and administrative burdens during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The final rule states that, “we do not anticipate that these regulations will create undue burdens on osteopathic clinical education programs,” and that, “the Department sought to reduce financial and regulatory burden overall within this rulemaking.” The distance education and innovation regulations become effective on July 1, 2021. AACOM’s analysis on the final rule is forthcoming.

Administration Issues Implementation Guidance for DACA Program

 

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to implement its July 28 on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program. According to the guidance, DHS will reject all initial DACA requests and return all fees. This refusal will be “without prejudice," so eligible individuals could reapply should DHS change its policy in the future. Further, DHS will limit all deferred action and employment authorization renewals to one year but will not rescind any currently valid two-year DACA authorizations. DACA recipients should send in their renewal request between 150 and 120 days before their current grant of DACA expires.

ED Revises CARES Act Reporting Requirements

 

On August 31, ED announced for institutions of higher education (IHEs) that received Higher Education Emergency Relief funds used for emergency financial aid grants to students through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. Previously, the May 6 instructed IHEs to post certain information to their websites within 30 days of receiving their allocation dedicated for student aid. The updated August requirements maintain the seven reporting categories, outline how institutions may determine the total number of eligible students, and reduce the frequency of updates after the initial 30-day period. Going forward, online reporting must be updated no later than 10 days after the end of each calendar quarter.

Featured Federal Resources and COM Engagement

Photos by Ben Siegel/OHIO UCM (left) and Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine

Photos by Ben Siegel/OHIO UCM (left) and Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine

OU-HCOM Awarded Two NIH Grants on Improving Health Research: Anatomy Professor and Associate Dean of Faculty Susan Williams, PhD, and Neuroscience Professor Yang Li, PhD, at the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, were both awarded $453,000 National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants to fund their health-improving research. Dr. Williams’ work focuses on the long-term anatomical effects of delaying the introduction of solid foods for babies with difficulty swallowing. Dr. Li’s research examines the effects zinc can have in relation to strokes and how to improve the efficacy of stroke treatment. Associate Dean for Research and Innovation Darlene Berryman, PhD, RD, LD, commends both professors and commented, “NIH grants are highly competitive and sought after. Anytime our investigators receive NIH funds, it not only opens the door to potential new treatments and breakthroughs in health, it also brings valuable opportunities for students to participate in cutting-edge research. This particular type of NIH grant has a goal of doing just that, exposing students to research.” .

HRSA Accepting Applications for the Rural Health Network Development Planning Program: Eligible applicant organizations may now apply to the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy’s , which works to promote the planning and development of integrated healthcare networks in order to achieve efficiencies; expand access to, coordinate, and improve the quality of basic healthcare services; and strengthen the rural healthcare system as a whole. Applications are due by November 16. .

Copyright ©2020 American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine. All Rights Reserved.

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American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine

Office of Government Relations

500 New Jersey Avenue NW, Suite 380, Washington, DC 20001

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American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine
Office of Government Relations
500 New Jersey Avenue NW, Suite 380, Washington, DC 20001

Contact the editors: aacomgr@aacom.org

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