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November 29, 2021

Around the nation: White House pledges $1.5 billion to grow and diversify health care workforce

Daily Briefing

    The Biden administration has allocated $1.5 billion in scholarships and loan repayment assistance for students and health care workers in underserved communities, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from the District of Columbia and Missouri.

    • District of Columbia: The Biden administration last week announced $1.5 billion in funding for the National Health Service Corps, Nurse Corps, and Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Recovery programs as part of the American Rescue Plan Act. According to the administration, this funding will provide scholarships and student loan repayment assistance to more than 22,700 health care workers—including doctors, dentists, nurses, and behavioral health providers—who have committed to working in underserved communities through these three programs. HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said, "Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, we now have a record number of doctors, dentists, nurses and behavioral health providers treating more than 23.6 million patients in underserved communities." (American Hospital Association, 11/22; Hellmann, Modern Healthcare, 11/22)
    • District of Columbia: The Biden administration last week announced that more than 90% of federal workers met the Covid-19 vaccination deadline set by President Joe Biden on Sept. 9. Most of the 3.5 million affected workers received at least their first dose of the vaccine by Nov. 22. A senior administration official told Axios the data indicates that "vaccination requirements work." The official added, "We have done this with the largest workforce in the United States, with more than 3.5 million covered employees across the country and around the world in diverse roles. And we have done this without disruptions to critical services people depend on." (Knutson, Axios, 11/22)
    • Missouri: Express Scripts—a subsidiary of Cigna—last week appointed Christine Gilroy as CMO. Gilroy previously served as associate CMO of Bright Health and medical director at Colorado HealthOP. According to Amy Bricker, president of Express Scripts, "Dr. Gilroy's experience and expertise, particularly in the areas of health services and public health, will be a great service to our clients who look to Express Scripts to guide them through health care's biggest challenges." She added, "Her fresh perspective will be a tremendous addition to our leadership team, and will help us drive continued growth in the PBM." (Moran, Becker's Hospital Review, 11/22)

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