Action Alerts

ActionAlert021                                                                                                                         May, 28 2017

Dear NAGE members,

Attached are letters of support for Title VII and Title VIII from Senators we received through our lobbyist Brian Lindberg.  As you undertake advocacy efforts, please thank Senators from your state who support continuation and let’s be sure we continue to press for support for GWEP, HRSA and other programs important to older adults.  

Thinking about our Veterans and the service of so many.  Please have a safe and wonderful Memorial Day.

NAGE Board of Directors

FY 18 Title VII Support Letter
FY 18 Title VIII Support Letter


ACTION ALERT – May 24, 2017

Dear Fellow GWEPs, Aging Centers, and GECs: President Trump proposed elimination of the GWEP in his FY 2018 HRSA budget as well as many other cuts.  Previously NAGE has provided action alerts, our appropriations testimony, our coalition work, and background materials.  Now that the budget has been released, the real work begins!

 The GWEP is one of many programs under attack, within HRSA and throughout government.  So now is the time to contact your Members of Congress to make the case for the value of your GWEP. We will follow up with more recommended actions. AGS and the Eldercare workforce are also working on advocacy issues.   

Other bad news in this budget include: NIH cuts of more than $5.5 billion, elimination of the Social Services Block Grant, the Older Americans Act Title V employment program (SCSEP), LIHEAP, SHIP, CSBG, and cuts of more than $600 billion to Medicaid. 

 Although many pundits may say that the budget is dead on arrival, I hope we recognize that many programs are likely to be cut or eliminated.  If you want to continue to improve geriatric care and training we must step up and protect the GWEP.

 Below are the links to the budget justification document for HRSA (see pages 103-4), and several other budget documents that may be of interest.  Also, you will see a summary of HRSA funding from Friends of HRSA (NAGE is a member of this organization). 

Budget justification for HRSA: https://www.hrsa.gov/about/budget/budgetjustification2018.pdf.

The full HHS FY 2018 budget proposal is now posted, along with the budgets for all of the various federal agencies.

Other OMB budget links can be found here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget

Sincerely,
NAGE Board of Directors


A summary of funding changes in the proposed 2018 budget from our colleagues at Friends of HRSA:There are very few discretionary increases. Most proposed increases are on the mandatory side. Please see below for details. As we expected, there are major cuts to HRSA’s health workforce programs with almost all discretionary programs proposed for elimination, and the Nursing Workforce Development cut by $146M. The Healthcare Systems Bureau was largely untouched with only one proposed cut — $4M cut to the Hansen’s Disease Programs. And after faring relatively well in FY17, the president’s budget proposes a nearly 50% cut to rural health.

 Discretionary increases:

  • Children’s Hospital GME $1M increase
  • MCH block grant $30M increase
  • Healthy Start $30M increase

 Mandatory increases:

  • Health Centers $89M increase
  • NHSC $21M increase
  • Teaching Health Centers GME $4M increase
  • Home visiting $28M increase

 Programs proposed for elimination:

Workforce:

  • Training for Diversity
  • Training in Primary Care Medicine
  • Oral Health Training
  • AHEC
  • Public Health and Preventive Medicine Programs
  • GWEP

MCH:

  • Sickle Cell Demonstration Program
  • Autism and Other Developmental Disorders
  • Heritable Disorders
  • Universal Newborn Hearing Screening
  • EMS for Children

Ryan White:

  • AIDS Education and Training Centers – Part F
  • Special Projects of National Significance

Rural Health:

  • Rural Hospital Flexibility Grants
  • State Offices of Rural Health

This is a recording of the first meeting of the NAGE Advocacy Mentoring  Network which took place on April 28 at 4:00 pm (Eastern). Sponsored by the National Association of Geriatric Education (NAGE), the Advocacy Mentoring Network will be a series of online discussions geared toward supporting your crucial advocacy efforts to save GWEP funding. Each network meeting will feature the opportunity to share your successes and challenges with a team of experienced policy mentors. There will also be important information presented by Brian Lindberg, NAGE Public Policy Advisor.

 
 

Dear Colleagues:

If you have not seen the Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing “The Arc of Alzheimer’s: From Preventing Cognitive Decline in Americans to Assuring Quality Care for those Living with the Disease,” you may find it interesting and moving. 

Senator Collins brings up the President’s budget proposal and the GWEP cuts and asks Christopher M. Callahan, MD, MACP, Cornelius and Yvonne Pettinga Professor in Aging Research, and Director of the Indiana University Center for Aging Research (ccallaha@iu.edu) a question about the funding and the need for GWEPS.  As you know, they have a GWEP.  You can listen to the question and response at about 2:16 into the hearing.

I suggest that NAGE should send a letter both to Senator Collins and Christopher Callahan and you may want to share this excellent exchange with all the members.

“The Arc of Alzheimers” From Preventing Cognitive Decline in Americans to Assuring Quality of Care for those Living with the Disease” – Special Committee on Aging Hearing held  Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Thanks, Brian

Brian W. Lindberg, NAGE Public Policy Advisor
1612 K Street, NW, Suite 200
Washington, DC 20006

202-789-3606


Special AGS Update regarding the May 4 House Action on the American Health Care Act:

New York (May 4, 2017)—The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) remains opposed to the amended American Health Care Act (AHCA) that today passed the U.S. House of Representatives despite serious concerns from geriatrics experts and a host of other stakeholders across health care. This legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would harm access to key health services for older adults, caregivers, and healthcare professionals—which is why the AGS now urges the U.S. Senate to oppose the bill in its current form. (continued)


IMPORTANT FEDERAL BUDGET UPDATE –  MAY 1st, 2017

Dear NAGE Members

As you know, Congress had not funded the federal government through the end of FY 2017.  Last week they passed a compromise bill to fund the government for another week while they worked out the final details. Over the weekend, the Republicans and the Democrats reached an agreement that will provide funding through September 30, 2017.  The House is likely to vote on the bill on Wednesday with the Senate to follow shortly thereafter, leading the President’s signature.

At this point, the budget allocation for Geriatrics within HRSA, which funds the GWEPS, remains flat from FY2016 and GWEPs would be funded at $38,737,000. Attached is a table with proposed funding levels for Titles VII & VIII Health Professions Programs.

More to come and let’s continue our fight for an increase for FY 2018!

NAGE will continue to increase our support for your advocacy efforts for GWEP funding. Information about future meetings of the NAGE Advocacy Mentoring Network will be out soon.

Sincerely, 

The Board of Directors+
National Association for Geriatric Education

FY 17 Labor-H Titles VII and VIII Funding Chart


House Approves CR With Shutdown Hours Away

The House on Friday approved a continuing resolution (H J Res 99) that would extend  government funding beyond a midnight Friday deadline. The tally was 220-15 as voting continued. The CR is needed to avert a partial government shutdown and is intended to give lawmakers time to wrap up negotiations on a fiscal 2017 spending package. Democrats had said they would oppose the CR unless a deal was at hand but Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland said Friday he would back the spending stopgap.

Hoyer also said that the fiscal 2017 spending package is scheduled to be introduced in the House on Monday night with a floor vote on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York signaled Senate Democrats could support a one-week CR since appropriators made progress on riders last night. But he said talks are ongoing and there are still problematic riders. The Senate is expected to vote later Friday.

Brian W. Lindberg, NAGE Public Policy Advisor
1612 K Street, NW, Suite 200
Washington, DC 20006

202-789-3606


ACTION ALERT – April 13, 2017

Dear NAGE Members:

NAGE, its leadership, public policy team, and our public policy advisor in Washington DC have been working hard to protect and expand funding for the Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program.  The President’s budget proposal recommends a cut of $403 million to health professions programs at HRSA and could end the GWEP.  As we fight these proposed cuts we are requesting increased funding for both GWEPS and GACAs to address the growing demand for geriatrics-trained health care professionals across the country.

We need your help to inform your Members of Congress of the value of your programs for older adults and your communities.

Communicate with your Members of Congress Now!

With Members of Congress home for two-weeks, now is the time to see them.  We know it is difficult to get to DC, so this is a fantastic opportunity to meet with your Representative in the House and your two Senators.  You can schedule a meeting at one of their offices in the state or invite them to visit your program site.  Such a site visit can include a tour, sitting in on a class, a meeting with you, your colleagues, and partners, or a special event.  You can also start by meeting them and their staff at their offices and suggesting a site visit at a future date.

Attached is a list of GWEPs and Members of Congress from your states.  Please note whether they serve on the appropriations committee and particularly if they serve on the Labor, Health and Humans Services Subcommittee.  If so, they have a lot more clout in the GWEP funding process!

These are challenging times, but with Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Programs, Centers on Aging, and Geriatric Education Centers all working together to oppose cuts to GWEPS and support funding to train the health care professionals and caregivers who provide care for millions of older adults across the nation, we have a strong chance to stop these unwarranted cuts to the GWEP.

Below you will find a few guidelines to help you establish contact and schedule an appointment with your Members of Congress and their staff. Also, there is a list of resources that we are providing as attachments to this e-mail.  These should support your advocacy, but please also make sure that your institutional home is comfortable with your involvement in this important educational process.

Meeting with Your Members of Congress

To schedule an appointment to meet with your Senator or Representative, contact the office by phone.

We encourage you to meet with your Senator or Representative him or herself, but please understand that you will most likely meet with a member of the Senator’s or Representative’s staff who handles health and aging issues. All Senators and Representatives rely heavily on staff for information and advice.  If your appointment is with a staff member, invest as much energy into presenting your issues(s) to him or her as you would if you were meeting with the Senator and Representative in person.

See the GWEPs and their Members of Congress list or use the links below:

Visit the Member’s website through either http://www.senate.gov or http://www.house.gov or call the Capitol switchboard (202-224-3121) to place the call or to obtain the phone number.  Ask for your legislator’s office by name. 

When you call to make the appointment, identify yourself as a constituent, state your full name and title, and ask to speak with the legislative assistant who handles health care or aging issues. If s/he is not available (often the case), then ask if you may leave a voicemail or e-mail message for her/him.

Between your busy schedule and theirs, it may take several attempts before you actually talk with (by phone or by email) the appropriate staffer or the scheduler. Don’t give up! You are a constituent; you have the right to visit your legislator.

The staff representative may ask you what you would like to discuss in the meeting.

Ask for a 30-minute meeting with your Member of Congress, but accept 15 minutes. A site visit will demand more time, of course.  Be sure to get the full name of the staffer with whom you speak or will be meeting and the office room number.

Important: Please let us know if you schedule a site visit and any other results of your efforts! Feel free to contact our Pubic Public Advisor, Brian Lindberg at (brian@consumers.org).

Resources for Your Meetings

Please use the following materials to help make the case for the value of the work GWEPs do in our communities.

For additional information, please feel free to consult the Eldercare Workforce Alliance GWEP advocacy toolkit.  NAGE is a member of the EWA and works with their staff on advocacy in Washington, DC.

Please remember that with this meeting, you are establishing a relationship with your Member of Congress and becoming a valuable resource.   Your meeting will be most effective if you share stories and supplement your discussion of federal issues with specific examples of what is happening with your program.  The more you can personalize the federal issues for your Member of Congress and his/her staff, the more effective your meeting will be.

Please let me know if you have any questions.  I am looking forward to hearing about your meetings!

Sincerely,

Kathryn Hyer, PhD, President NAGE
Maura Brennan, MD, President-Elect, NAGE



Special Federal Government Budget Update
by Brian Lindberg
Please watch for information on what is going on with GWEP funding (Published 3.31.2017)

President Trumps Budget Proposal for Fiscal Year 2018
“America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again”


For more information on how to advocate and educate, please click here

To link to the Recent Government Affairs Activities page, please click here


 Please take this time to let your Senators and Members of Congress know how important your geriatric education program is to your community, the state, and the quality of care provided by health care professionals to older adults across the nation.
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Thank you