Letter from ANNA and other organizations to the Chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies requesting full funding for the health professions education programs in the FY 2007 budget

July 10, 2006

The Honorable Arlen Specter

Chairman

Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies

Committee on Appropriations

United States Senate

Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairman Specter:

The undersigned organizations write to urge you to fund fully the health professions education programs by providing at least $300 million for Title VII health professions programs and $175 million for Title VIII nursing programs in the FY 2007 budget. These appropriations levels restore funding lost as a result of the devastating 51.5 percent cut ($154.4 million) to Title VII in FY 2006, and provide vital support for the programs to fulfill their shared mission of improving the supply, distribution, and diversity of health professionals nationwide.

The Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bill (H.R. 5647) passed by the House Appropriations Committee does not restore cuts enacted in FY 2006. While it reinstates funding to the geriatrics training programs, the bill maintains the substantial cuts to primary care and diversity programs, and the elimination of the rural training and workforce information and analysis programs. Further, the bill eliminates public health, preventive medicine, and dental public health programs, as well as the Health Careers Opportunity Program, a pipeline program that recruits minority and disadvantaged students into the health professions.

Title VII and VIII programs train providers with the skills to care for special needs populations and are the only federal programs designed to increase minority representation in the health care workforce. At a time when researchers predict imminent shortages across health professions disciplines, these programs are essential as they help increase the supply and distribution of primary care and other providers. As community health centers report significant provider recruitment difficulties, Title VII and VIII programs are needed to train health professionals who are more likely to serve in underserved communities and settings.

While we understand there are many competing priorities in the fiscal year 2007 bill, we fear that the enacted and proposed cuts to the health professions programs will exacerbate current and future health care challenges and will impact our nation’s most vulnerable communities. We urge you to restore the devastating cuts from FY 2006, by fully funding the Title VII and VIII programs in the FY 2007 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education bill.

Thank you for your consideration of this request. We look forward to working with you to ensure the continuation of congressional support for these critical programs.

Sincerely,

Administrators of Internal Medicine

Advocate Health Care

Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine

Ambulatory Pediatric Association

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

American Academy of Family Physicians

American Academy of HIV Medicine

American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry

American Academy of Pediatrics

American Academy of Physician Assistants

American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy

American Association of Colleges of Nursing

American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine

American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy

American Association of Community Colleges

American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians

American College of Osteopathic Internists

American College of Physicians

American College of Preventive Medicine

American Dental Education Association

American Nephrology Nurses’ Association

American Nurses Association

American Occupational Therapy Association

American Osteopathic Association

American Pediatric Society

American Psychological Association

American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science

American Society for Clinical Pathology

American Society of Radiologic Technologists

Association of Academic Health Centers

Association of American Medical Colleges

Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges

Association of Chiropractic Colleges

Association of Departments of Family Medicine

Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors

Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairs

Association of Minority Health Professions Schools

Association of Professors of Medicine

Association of Program Directors in Internal Medicine

Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions

Association of Specialty Professors

Association of University Programs in Health Administration

Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses

Clerkship Directors in Internal Medicine

Hispanic-Serving Health Professions Schools

HIV Medicine Association

National Area Health Education Centers Organization

National Association for Geriatric Education

National Association for Geriatric Education Centers

National Association of Medical Minority Educators, Inc.

National Association of Social Workers

National Hispanic Medical Association

National League for Nursing

National Network of Health Career Programs in Two-Year Colleges

North American Primary Care Research Group

Oncology Nursing Society

Society for Adolescent Medicine

Society for Pediatrics Research

Society for Public Health Education

Society of General Internal Medicine

Society of Teachers of Family Medicine