On behalf of the Ohio Rural Health Association Board and membership, the Legislative Committee is submitting a letter of support to the House and Senate for the Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act (H.R. 6788). The bill would alleviate visa-based restrictions for international nurses and physicians who have trained in the United States, allowing these heroes to join the fight against the COVID-19 virus and diminish workforce shortages in rural America.
Health care workforce shortages that have plagued rural communities for decades have become exacerbated by the COVID-19 virus pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, 77 percent of rural counties were designated Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs), and while approximately 20 percent of the nation’s population lives in rural areas, only nine percent of U.S. physicians practice in rural America.
This important bipartisan legislation would allow tens of thousands of nurses and physicians to join the fight against COVID-19 and address the significant health care workforce shortages in rural America by recapturing unused immigrant visas that Congress has previously authorized and allocating those visas to international doctors and nurses who have trained in the United States. These heroes could improve access to high quality health care services in rural communities and allow them to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and future health crises more effectively, and ultimately save lives.
Legislative Committee Zoom meetings are held the third Monday of each month at 4 pm. The schedule for the balance of 2020 is:
Monday, November 16, 2020, 4 pm
Monday, December 21, 2020, 4 pm
If you are interested in attending, please contact Legislative Committee chair, JoAnn Reilly, at firstname.lastname@example.org.