Washington D.C.- Washington East Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) delivered opening remarks at today’s health subcommittee hearing to review current federal government programs , support health workers and improve primary care.
Excerpts and highlights of his remarks below:
ADMINISTRATION OF HEALTH RESOURCES AND SERVICES
“Today we will be hearing from Carole Johnson, Administrator of Health Resources and Services Administration, known as HRSA, and we thank you for the detailed analysis of the district that you have given to each of us and for coming to Spokane and spending time in my neighborhood.
“We will discuss several existing federal programs and proposed legislation relating to health care personnel, primary care services, competition for organ procurement, compensation transparency for injury countermeasures and research and treatment of diabetes.
“The shortage of healthcare workers is leaving people without the primary care they need, which is why we are considering the Strengthening Community Care Act of 2023, led by Rep. Joyce.
“This legislation will reauthorize the Community Health Center Fund and the National Health Service Corps, which help support both primary care services and health care workers.”
ADDRESSING LABOR SHORTAGES
“I am especially proud of the work that community health centers in my district are doing to expand services and increase employment opportunities.
“New Health currently offers a pre-apprenticeship physician assistant program in partnership with local high schools.
“They are also working with a local school district to develop a workforce training center where rural high school students can access clinical and non-clinical placements.
“Additionally, CHAS Health in Spokane gives high school students the opportunity to participate in educational sessions where they can learn about different aspects of clinical health and related professions.
“I hope these efforts will help attract more healthcare workers to our community.
“Next, we will discuss proposals to continue funding the teaching health center’s postgraduate medical training program. I’ve been a longtime supporter of this program, which helps bring more primary care physicians, OBGYNs, mental health providers, and others to rural areas.
“Spokane, Washington has recognized this and is a national leader in recruiting the next generation of healthcare workers.
“The mandatory funding for this program expires on September 30 and I am committed to working to extend it. I hope we can reach a bipartisan agreement and find the necessary compensation.
“We will also be reviewing the National Nursing Workforce Center Act of 2023, led by Rep. Young Kim. This bill will help improve existing nursing workforce centers across the state so we can better assess workforce challenges and fill gaps.
“I am grateful for Rep. Bucshon’s leadership on securing U.S. organ procurement and transplantation law.
“This will allow HRSA to make the process of the Organ Supply and Transplantation Network more competitive with the ultimate goal of making organs accessible to more people in need. An area where there is still work to be done.
“We will also consider a proposal to increase transparency within the Countermeasures Compensation Scheme.
“This is administered by HRSA and provides compensation for covered injury or death that directly results from the use of certain countermeasures used to treat conditions resulting from a public health emergency or security threat. .
“Finally, we will discuss two programs that are critical to improving the lives of people with diabetes, including Rep. Bilirakis’ Special Diabetes Program Reauthorization Act of 2023 and the Special Diabetes Program Reauthorization Act of 2023. for Representative Cole’s Indians.”