Letter from ANNA to members of the Senate Labor Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Subcommittee expressing disappointment in inadequate funding for the nursing workforce programs at the Health Resources and Services Administration ...

August 22, 2006

The Honorable ____________*

Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Subcommittee

Appropriations Committee

United States Senate

Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator*:

I am writing on behalf of the American Nephrology Nurses' Association (ANNA) to express our disappointment in the allocation of only $150 million (the same funding level as Fiscal Year (FY) 2006) for the Nursing Workforce Development Programs at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) in the FY 2007 Labor‑Health and Human Services­Education (LHHS) Appropriations bill. ANNA is a professional nursing organization of more than 12,000 registered nurses and other health care professionals that 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 life­threatening 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. ANNA has serious concerns that the confluence of these unprecedented demographic factors quickly could lead the nation to a health care delivery crisis. 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 at least $175 million in FY 2007. With additional resources, these important programs will be able to continue to address the multiple factors contributing to the nationwide nursing shortage, including the insufficient supply of nursing faculty.

As the FY 2007 appropriations process draws to a close, ANNA stands ready to work with you and your colleagues to ensure a final funding allocation of $175 million for the Nursing Workforce Development Programs. 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 our request. 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 (202‑230­5159, cmurphy@gcd.com) and Jim Twaddell (202‑230‑5130, jtwaddell@gcd.com).

Sincerely,

JoAnne Gilmore, BSN, RN, CNN

President

*A personal letter was sent to the following members of the Senate Labor Health and Human Services and Education (LHHS) Appropriations Subcommittee:

Senator Arlen Specter (Chairman) (PA)

Senator Thad Cochran (MS)

Senator Judd Gregg (NH)

Senator Larry Craig (ID)

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX)

Senator Ted Stevens (AK)

Senator Mike DeWine (OH)

Senator Richard Shelby (AL)

Senator Tom Harkin (Ranking Member) (IA)

Senator Daniel Inouye (HI)

Senator Harry Reid (NV)

Senator Herb Kohl (WI)

Senator Patty Murray (WA)

Senator Mary Landrieu (LA)

Senator Richard Durbin (IL)