Letter to the Chairs of the Senate and House of Representatives Labor Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittees requesting the highest possible allocation for Nursing Workforce Development Programs and the National Institute of Diabetes a...

November 1, 2006

The Honorable Arlen Specter

Chairman, Labor Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee

The United States Senate

522 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairman Specter:

On behalf of the American Nephrology Nurses' Association (ANNA), I am writing to urge you to provide the highest possible allocation for the Nursing Workforce Development Programs at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) in the final fiscal year (FY) 2007 Labor-Health and Human Services-Education (LHHS) Appropriations measure. ANNA, a professional nursing organization of more than 12,000 registered nurses and other health care professionals, exists to advance nephrology nursing practice and positively influence outcomes for patients with kidney or other disease processes requiring replacement therapies through advocacy, scholarship, and excellence. 

With the aging of the Baby Boom generation, the nation is facing a growing challenge of providing health care to an increasing number of people with serious, chronic, and life-threatening conditions such as end stage renal disease (ESRD). At the same time, the nation is experiencing an unparalleled nursing shortage which is being exacerbated by an insufficient supply of nursing faculty.  The Department of Health and Human Services estimates that there will be one million vacant nursing positions by 2020.  In order to ensure that the nation continues to address the nursing shortage and prevent this impending crisis, the Nursing Workforce Development Programs at HRSA need additional funding in FY 2007. With increased resources, HRSA will be able to continue to address the multiple factors contributing to the nationwide nursing shortage, including the insufficient supply of nursing faculty. Moreover, by providing additional resources to NIDDK, the agency can continue and expand its efforts to reduce and prevent kidney disease.

Please know that we recognize that Congress faces unprecedented fiscal challenges and that you are asked to support many meritorious programs. As such, we very much appreciate your attention to – and support of – our requests. Should you have any questions or if we can be of any assistance to you or your staff on this or other kidney disease or nursing matters, please do not hesitate to contact us or our Washington DC Health Policy Associates, Ilisa Halpern Paul (202/230-5145, ipaul@gcd.com), Christine Murphy (202-230-5159, cmurphy@gcd.com) and Jim Twaddell (202-230-5130, jtwaddell@gcd.com). 

Sincerely,

JoAnne Gilmore, BSN, RN, CNN

President

Please note: An identical letter was sent to The Honorable Ralph Regula, Chairman, Labor-Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee, The U.S. House of Representatives.