Last week, I wrote about the efforts of pediatrician Lisa Chamberlain, MD, to restore funding for a federal pediatric training program. As it turns out, she's got some allies in Congress: Yesterday, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined a rally at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center to offer his support for the Children's Hospitals Graduate Medical Education program.
According to his release, Brown, who as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives authored a bill that first proposed CHGME, has also drafted a letter asking Health Resources and Services Administration Administrator Mary Wakefield to "allocate sufficient funding" for the program in the 2012 operating budget. Calling CHGME a "critically important program that works to strengthen our pediatric workforce and improves the health of children in every state," the letter goes on to say:
In Fiscal Year 2010, the CHGME program provided funded for the 56 freestanding children’s hospitals throughout the country. These children’s hospitals train 40 percent of the country’s general pediatricians and 43 percent of the pediatric specialists. If funding for this program were reduced or eliminated, the ability to adequately and fully train pediatricians would be in jeopardy.
As for Chamberlain, she and her Lucile Packard Children's Hospital colleagues are gearing up for a rally of their own, tentatively scheduled for April 27.
Previously: Working to save pediatric residency funds