In the News

Health Professions Network (HPN) meets in Washington, DC

March 11, 2010

During its spring 2010 meeting in the nation’s capitol, March 3–6, the Health Professions Network (HPN) went to Congress to advocate for increased funding for and awareness of the allied health professions.

The AARC participated in this meeting that featured presentations by Marcia K. Brand, PhD, Deputy Administrator, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and Thomas Elwood, DrPH, Executive Director, Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions (ASAHP). In addition, Miriam O’Day, Legislative Affairs, American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC), prepared attendees for the Capitol Hill visit.

HPN advocates for allied health in Congress

On March 4, approximately 30 HPN meeting attendees visited key Senate and House representatives and their staff.  Bill Dubbs, AARC Director of Education and Management Services visited with staff members from the office of  Senators John Cornyn (D) TX and Jeff Bingaman (D) NM and Representatives Kenny Marchant (R) TX and Martin Heinrich (D) NM.

In these meetings, HPN attendees had three requests:

  • Funding for a comprehensive health workforce study
  • Funding to increase awareness of career opportunities in the health professions
  • A Congressional statement recognizing the allied health professions

“This was an invaluable experience,” said Dubbs. “The allied health professions, including respiratory therapists are essential to ensuring access to quality care for patients nationwide. Additionally, the allied health field has a great economic impact on the health care sector. Based on sheer numbers, as we represent 60% of health professionals. Allied health fields also offer excellent career opportunities for racial/ethnic minorities and displaced workers.  Despite the partisan climate in the Capitol, I believe our message of cost control, increased access, and improved quality was one that resonated with our federal government lawmakers.”

About the Health Professions Network

The HPN represents 80 member associations and works to promote collaboration and serve the interests of allied health professionals from 200 different health professions as well as educators, regulators, accrediting agencies, and government agencies. Since its founding in 1995, HPN has worked to advance and explore current issues relevant to health professions.