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Coalition Urges Congress to Increase Funding for National Health Service Corps
Date:10/10/2007

RESTON, Va., Oct. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Medical Student Association (AMSA), the nation's largest, independent medical student organization, today announced that a coalition representing the majority of the nation's physicians and physicians-in-training is urging Congress to pass the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Scholarship and Loan Repayment Programs Reauthorization Act of 2007 (H.R. 2915).

The NHSC Scholarship and Loan Repayment Programs Reauthorization Act will double the funding for the NHSC, increasing the number of available positions. Currently, there are an estimated 10 applications for every open position.

The NHSC Scholarship and Loan Repayment Programs are central to effectively improving health care in underserved areas of the country. Over 50 million residents of the United States live in more than 3,000 federally designated health professional shortage areas. These communities lack access to essential primary health care and burdened by poor health outcomes. Over its 35-year history, the NHSC has provided crucial staff to local healthcare facilities, which serve to expand access and improve health outcomes. More than 27,000 primary care doctors, nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, physician assistants and dentists have participated in these programs since its inception.

"As the nation's future physicians, it is our responsibility to represent our patients' voices," says Michael Ehlert, M.D., national president of AMSA. "More than 35 years ago, AMSA was instrumental in the establishment of the NHSC and we continue to support the program that provides care to our nation's most vulnerable communities."

"I'm pleased that AMSA has endorsed my effort to renew and expand the National Health Service Corps program," said Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa), author of the legislation. "Many areas of the country are experiencing shortages of qualified medical professionals. The NHSC program rewards doctors who pe
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SOURCE The American Medical Student Association
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