Funding Fight for Primary Care Training Programs Focus of AAFP Action Alert

June 27, 2012 02:25 pm News Staff

The AAFP has launched a renewed effort to strengthen primary care training programs by calling on family medicine residents and students to contact their representatives in Washington to support a funding increase for Section 747 of Title VII of the Public Health Service Act in the 2013 fiscal year.

[Stock Photo-Action Alert Signage-Man Running]

Section 747 of Title VII is the only federal program that provides funds specifically to academic departments and programs to increase the number of primary care health professionals. In a recent Speak Out Action Alert, Brent Smith, M.D., the resident member of the AAFP Board of Directors, and Jessica Johnson, the student member of the Board, are asking family medicine residents and students to send a customizable letter to their congressional representatives. The letter calls on Congress to provide $71 million in funding for the Title VII program. Residents and students have the option of e-mailing or mailing the letter to their respective representatives.

"The evidence is very clear," says the letter. "Family physicians offer the most cost-effective care, and it would make sense for our country to continue to support this cost-effectiveness."

This current Action Alert comes only a few months after the AAFP sent a similar Action Alert to student members, urging them to contact their senators in support of funding increases for Title VII health professions programs during the 2013 fiscal year.

In the current Action Alert, Smith and Johnson say, "primary care needs our help. The current funding levels for the primary care training funds are not enough. Without a substantial increase in funding, primary care students and residents may not be able to receive the proper training to serve our communities."