Letter from Friends of the Health Resources and Services Administration Coalition, including ANNA, to Members of Congress urging them to provide at least $7.5 billion for services funded through HRSA in the FY ‘07 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill

Friends of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

c/o American Public Health Association

800 I Street NW

Washington DC, 20016

202-777-2513

December 4, 2006

Dear Senator:

The undersigned members of the Friends of the Health Resources and Services Administration Coalition (Friends of HRSA), urge you to provide at least $7.5 billion for the vital programs and services funded through HRSA when Congress finalizes its work on the FY07 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill. This request reflects the support HRSA will need to fulfill its core missions for fiscal year 2007 and beyond. We strongly believe that the activities and programs supported by HRSA are essential to protect the health of the American people.

The Friends of HRSA is a non-profit alliance of more than 125 national organizations - collectively representing millions of public health and health care professionals, academics and consumers - that works in a non-partisan fashion to advance the health of the American people. The coalition’s principal goal is to assure that HRSA’s broad health programs have continued support, in order to reach the populations presently underserved by the nation’s patchwork of health care programs. These programs include efforts to ensure access to basic primary health services for all Americans, and especially for those who live in rural and medically underserved areas. HRSA programs provide optimal health care for patients with HIV/AIDS and for women who need maternal and family planning services. In addition, HRSA is responsible for assuring that there are an adequate number of properly trained health care personnel to provide needed services. Our member organizations strongly support programs that assure Americans’ access to health services, and the elimination of disparities in health. 

Listed below are some of the major health care initiatives provided by HRSA. These programs are crucial to the health of millions of Americans – during a time when state and local health departments are already severely understaffed and being asked to do more, funding should be added, not excluded, to protect the lives of Americans. 

  • Health Professions: Educational training for physicians, dental personnel, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, public health personnel, and operation of the National Health Service Corps. 
  • Rural Health programs include Rural Health Service Outreach Grants and Rural Health Research.
  • Rural and Community Access to Emergency Devices Program provides grants to states to train lay rescuers and first responders to use AEDs and purchase and place these devices in public areas where cardiac arrests are likely to occur. 
  • Maternal and Child Health: The Maternal and Child Health Block grant programs include Emergency Medical Services for Children, and Healthy Start; key examples of cost-effective services for low-income working families.
  • HIV/AIDS: The Ryan White CARE Act programs represent the federal government’s most significant HIV-specific response to medical and support services.  Ryan White provisions include: Emergency Relief, Comprehensive Care, Early Intervention, Pediatric Demonstration Grants, the AIDS Education and Training Centers, and HIV/AIDS Dental Reimbursement Program. 
  • Family Planning: Title X programs provide reproductive health care and other preventive health services that improve maternal and child health outcomes, lower the incidence of unwanted pregnancies and reduce the rate of abortions. 
  • Health Centers: The nation's Community, Migrant, Homeless and Public Housing Health Centers provide high-quality, affordable primary and preventive health care services to nearly 16 million Americans living in medically underserved areas.  Increased funding is needed to continue health center expansion efforts and to strengthen existing centers in the face of rising health care costs and rising numbers of uninsured.

The organizations involved in the Friends of HRSA coalition believe that continued underfunding of these programs undermines the progress we have made to date and will have future consequences that will leave us unprepared for a terror attack, infectious disease outbreak, or other public health emergency.  Accordingly, we are grateful for your support in the past and urge you to support a funding level of $7.5 billion for HRSA in FY 2007.

Sincerely,

Administrators of Internal Medicine

AIDS Action

AIDS Foundation of Chicago

AIDS Project Los Angeles

Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine

American Academy of Family Physicians

American Academy of Nursing

American Academy of Nurse Practitioners

American Academy of Pediatrics

American Academy of Physician Assistants

American Association of Colleges of Nursing

American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy

Association of American Medical Colleges

American Association of Occupational Health Nurses

American College of Nurse Practitioners

American Dental Education Association

American Dental Hygienists' Association

American Dietetic Association

American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees

American Heart Association

American Nephrology Nurses' Association

American Pediatric Society

American Physical Therapy Association

American Podiatric Medical Association

Ambulatory Pediatric Association

American Podiatric Medical Association

American Public Health Association

Association of Academic Health Centers

Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges

Association of Departments of Family Medicine

Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors

Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs

Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairs

Association of Minority Health Professions Schools

Association of Organ Procurement Organizations

Association of Professors of Medicine

Association of Program Directors in Internal Medicine

Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions

Association of State & Territorial Health Officials

Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses

Clerkship Directors in Internal Medicine

Coalition for American Trauma Care

Coalition for Health Funding

Commissioned Officers Association of the U.S. Public Health Service

Emergency Nurses Association

Epilepsy Foundation

HIV Medicine Association

March of Dimes

Medicine-Pediatrics Program Directors Association

National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors

National Area Health Education Centers Organization

National Association of Community Health Centers

National Association of Medical Minority Educators

National Association of City & County Health Officials

National Black Nurses Association

National Coalition for LGBT Health

National Council of Centers of Excellence

National Episcopal AIDS Coalition

National League for Nursing

North American Primary Care Research Group

Oncology Nursing Society

Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States

Society for Adolescent Medicine

Society for Pediatric Research

Society for Public Health Education

Society of Teachers of Family Medicine

Title II Community AIDS National Network