“This year marked the 50th anniversary of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)’s Title VII health professions and Title VIII nursing workforce programs. U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) would like to thank the HRSA programs for all the work they have done to help train Ohio’s health care workforce, and congratulate them on their 50th anniversary.
In 1963, Congress passed the Health Professions Education Assistance Act, which created Title VII programs. In 1964, the Nurse Training Act created the Title VIII nursing workforce programs. Today, Title VII and Title VIII are the only federal programs designed to train primary care providers in interdisciplinary, community-based settings to meet the needs of the country’s underserved populations, increase minority representation in the health care workforce, and fill gaps in the supply of health professionals not met by traditional market forces.
More than 192 million Americans live in areas with a shortage of health professionals. Almost 77 percent of the rural counties in the U.S., including Ohio, suffer from a primary care health professional shortage. HRSA works to help mitigate such shortages by providing primary care education and training opportunities for providers in these communities. Ohio receives more than $11 million in federal funding for its health professions and nursing education; nearly five million of these funds are in Title VII grants, while the remaining six million represent Title VIII grants.
The University of Toledo Area Health Education Center (UT AHEC) represents one of the Title VII health care workforce development programs in Ohio. The AHEC program develops health education programs for UT’s medical students and local health care professionals, young students, and the wider community. Three regional centers are associated with UT’s program, and each offers a variety of programs in health care career education, community health education, continuing medical education, clinical education, and health manpower.
As we reflect on this milestone celebrating five decades of health professions education and training through Title VII and VIII programs, we applaud their ability to adapt to the nation’s changing health care needs, as well as their ability to advance curricular innovations on timely priorities, such as mental and behavioral health issues, geriatrics training, and cultural competency. It is important for Congress to continue to recognize the importance of investing in these critical workforce programs for the next fifty years and beyond.”