November 21, 2017

ACU Board Member To Testify Before Congress

On Thursday, September 14, the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing to review public health workforce programs. The hearing, titled, “Supporting Tomorrow’s Health Providers: Examining Workforce Programs under the Public Health Service Act,” will include a panel of witnesses to testify on behalf of a number of programs in need of reauthorization, including the National Health Service Corps (NHSC). ACU Board Member, Adrian Billings, MD has been invited to testify about the ability of the NHSC to address the primary care workforce shortage in high need areas.

Dr. Billings is an alumnus of the NHSC scholarship program and completed his NHSC commitment in Alpine, Texas. After fulfilling his commitment, Dr. Billings remained in Alpine and is now the Medical Director of Presidio County Health Services, a federally qualified health center. ACU is proud to be represented by Dr. Billings in this hearing as he outlines how the NHSC has become one of the most effective programs to connect underserved communities with passionate primary care clinicians.

This hearing will be held two weeks before the NHSC trust fund is set to expire. If Congress does not address this looming deadline, no new NHSC awards will be granted beyond October 1, and HRSA will be forced to take extraordinary measures to minimize the impact to the existing field strength. ACU is grateful to the Subcommittee for the opportunity to highlight the importance of the NHSC, and is hopeful that this hearing will kick-start the legislative process to extend funding for this vital health care program.