(Washington, D.C.) Today, the National AHEC Organization (NAO) awarded Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers the 2008 Public Policy Leadership Award for her commitment to the health of our nation and her work in strengthening the health care workforce by actively supporting Title VII Health Professions Training programs. Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers is the primary co-signer of the letter in the House of Representatives to support funding for Title VII programs.
The AHEC (Area Health Education Centers) works to improve the health of individuals and communities by transforming health care through education.
“Increasing access to quality, affordable health care is one of my top priorities,” McMorris Rodgers says. “I applaud the work the AHEC is doing to help address the critical shortage of medical professionals in our health care system by training the next generation of doctors, nurses, lab technicians and other specialists. I’m committed to helping maintain the Title VII funding that pays for programs like AHEC.”
Title VII programs provide grants to educational institutions and other venues that train and educate primary health care professionals in rural and urban areas classified as underserved. The training that students receive through Title VII programs greatly increases the likelihood that they will return to and serve these underserved areas after program completion, addressing our nation’s workforce shortage.
One of the regional programs that has benefited from this funding is the Rural Health Training program referred to as WWAMI, which stands for Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. This important program recruits and trains primary care doctors to practice in underserved areas – such as the rural areas of Eastern Washington.