Fiscal Year 2022 Omnibus Passes, Includes Long-Standing PAEA Policy Priorities
Earlier this month, Congress passed H.R. 2471, an omnibus appropriations bill to provide funding to all federal agencies through September 30, marking the completion of the appropriations process for fiscal year 2022 (FY22). As a result of the persistent advocacy of the PA education community and other health professions education stakeholders, this legislation includes meaningful advances for programs, faculty, and students.
A core component of PAEA’s advocacy agenda is strengthening clinical site access for programs, particularly in the case of specialties where programs have faced long-standing difficulty in securing rotations. In a significant victory, the omnibus includes the Rural MOMS Act. This PAEA-endorsed legislation authorizes $5 million annually through fiscal year 2027 to support OB/GYN clinical training opportunities in rural communities for PA and other health professions students. Beyond this new program, the omnibus further increases funding for existing programs that help to facilitate clinical rotations such as Area Health Education Centers which received a $1.75 million increase over the FY21 funding level.
In addition to addressing clinical site access for programs, the FY22 omnibus makes further investments in health workforce diversity and the capacity of providers to deliver culturally competent care. Specifically, the law authorizes an additional $5 million annually through fiscal year 2027 to support curriculum development pertaining to prenatal and postpartum care with a particular emphasis on the needs of racial and ethnic minority patients. The bill further increases funding for Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students – a critical resource to support student diversity – by $1.5 million.
Beyond PAEA’s core priorities of clinical site access and diversity, equity, and inclusion, the FY22 omnibus also makes direct investments in PA program capacity. The FY22 appropriations process marked the return of community project funding – commonly referred to as earmarks – which allow members of Congress to obtain funding for local priorities. Several PA programs including Mississippi State University – Meridian, Saint Francis University, and Touro University California will receive funding to support simulation lab development and other key infrastructure needs following the enactment of the FY22 omnibus.
The Government Relations team would like to thank all faculty and students who have advocated on behalf of these key priorities. Members with questions on the FY22 omnibus or PAEA’s advocacy activities are invited to contact Tyler Smith at tsmith@PAEAonline.org.