WASHINGTON, DC – The Subcommittee on Health, chaired by Rep. Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), today held a hearing examining several public health workforce programs.
Those programs include: The National Health Service Corps (NHSC), Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME), Title VII health workforce education and training programs, and Title VIII nursing workforce education and training programs.
“When looking at the data, our mission is clear. The Association of American Medical Colleges estimates that by the year 2030, the United States will have a projected physician shortage ranging from 40,800 providers to as many as 104,900 providers,” stated Chairman Burgess. “For example, programs like the National Health Service Corps, Area Health Education Centers supported by Title VII grants, and Teaching Health Centers tackle these shortages head on by connecting young providers with underserved communities. These programs are essential to addressing the nation’s provider shortages by connecting providers to underserved communities.”
Dr. Neil S. Calman, President, American Association of Teaching Health Centers, reiterated concerns about the shortages, saying, “With the looming primary care shortage on the horizon, investments in graduate medical education training will be critical to meet the needs of the evolving health care delivery system. The THCGME program is one of the most reliable training models for primary care physicians and has an overwhelming documented success, but has been critically underfunded and is at the brink of collapse. Without immediately strengthening and expanding, the program will unravel just as it is beginning to produce the urban and rural primary care workforce that is desperately needed.”
Dr. Adrian Billings, Chief Medical Officer, Preventative Care Health Services, shared his personal and professional history with the National Health Service Corps (NHSC), and reflected on his time as a NHSC scholarship program participant and how it shaped his career. “I am proud of the accomplishments I have made over these past 10 years. I am proud that I continue to practice in the underserved area where I completed my NHSC commitment,” stated Dr. Billings. “I am most proud that I have been able to establish an FQHC [Federally Qualified Health Center] practice in Alpine where there had not been one previously. The establishment of an FQHC has enabled a significant increase in access to care for the most underserved patients in the Big Bend of Texas.”
For more information on today’s hearing, including a background memo, witness testimony, and archived webcast, click HERE.