Bill in HOR

From:Barry Rittman <>

The following is information that was forwarded to me by Hector
Hernandez, thanks Hector.
I think that many of you will find this interesting.

Re: [hpnparticipants] Fwd:HR 1948
----- Original Message -----
From: Susan Stowell
Sent: Thursday, June 21, 2001 8:52 AM
Subject: Re: [hpnparticipants] Fwd:HR 1948

To HPN participants:  Here is more information on the bill in the US
House of
Representatives to increase funding for the Allied Health Project Grants
program  with suggestions on how to contact your congressional reps.  It
came from:
Sonya Naryshkin, M.D. Chairman, ASC Legislative and Regulatory Affairs

A new bill entitled, " the Medical Laboratory Personnel Shortage Act of
2001" (HR 1948) has just been introduced to the U.S. House of
Representatives by U.S. Representatives John Shimkus (R-IL) and Jesse
Jackson, Jr. (D-IL). This bill addresses  the approaching serious
shortage of medical laboratory personnel in the United States.
Representatives Shimkus, Jackson and bill cosponsors, Representatives
Michael Bilirakis (R-FL) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH), worked with the
American Society of Clinical Pathologists in finding solutions to
attract professionals into the laboratory field.

The "2000 biennial wage and vacancy survey"  conducted by the ASCP Board
Registry, in conjunction with MORPACE International indicated that
nationally, twenty per cent of cytotechnology and histotechnology
postitons are currently unfilled. Ira D. Godwin, MD, FASCP, President of
the ASCP states that  "this is a cause for immediate concern as some
laboratories will  not have the appropriate personnel available to
evaluate Pap smears or prepare  biopsies" and, "given the aging
population, the number and complexity of biopsy specimens and molecular
techniques are likely to increase...the
laboratory workforce will need to be able to react to these concerns
with sufficient numbers of trained and educated personnel".

The bill attempts to help alleviate this shortage  by expanding the
National Health Service Corps Scholarship and Loan Repayment Program to
medical technologists and  medical laboratory technicians.  It increases
funding for the Allied Health Project Grants program, which helps
attract laboratory professionals to the field, especially minorities and
individuals in rural and underserved communities.  The bill also
highlights programs for increasing medical laboratory personnel in the
areas of cervical cancer screening, antimicrobial resistance efforts,
bioterrorism, and transfusion medicine.  The bill takes advantage of
several existing programs and will help  expand funding programs for
training cytotechnologists and medical  technologists. Note that
regarding the Breast and Cervical Cancer treatment act, it is
specifically designed NOT to take money from screening programs for
underprivileged women--funding for training does not apply unless the
amount  appropriated goes over about 174 million.

It is in the best interests of all of us to support this bill as
adequately staffed laboratories will enable us to best serve our
clinical physician colleagues and their patients. Please ask your
representative in  Congress to  actually cosponsor HR 1948, the Medical
Laboratory Personnel Shortage Act.
Advocacy efforts work best when there is a personal relationship
established  between the constituent and the representative. Therefore,
we urge you all to make a personal phone call to your U.S.
Representative in Congress. You can call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at
(202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected to the appropriate office. If
your representative is not available, you can ask to speak to the health
legislative aid. It may take some persistence to reach your legislator,
but the time spent making that personal contact will go a long way in
paving the road for future fruitful interactions.

In case our members are reluctant to get on the phone and be put on
hold, or triaged to an aide, here is an option.  There is a website for
the US Congress, whereby you can make direct contact with your
representatives.  Even if you don't know who they are, you simply need
to enter your state and zip code.  The  senators and representatives
will be displayed.  It has easy point and click  access and you can
leave an e-mail message.

U.S. House of Reps:

U.S. Senate:     

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