Kuster, Bergman Applaud Committee Passage of the Grow Our Own Directive Act
(Washington, DC) – Congresswoman Annie Kuster (D-NH) and Congressman Jack Bergman (R-MI) applauded this week’s passage of the Grow Our Own Directive: Physician Assistant Employee Education Act (GOOD Act) in the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee. The GOOD Act, introduced by Kuster and Bergman, would address the provider shortage at the VA by establishing a pilot program that awards educational assistance to veterans with medical military training who will be placed as physician assistants in Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs) that are designated of highest need. A 2017 GAO report presented before the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee stated that physician assistants experienced the highest rates of turnover of all medical occupations with shortages.
“We need to be doing everything we can to ensure our veterans get the best care possible when they return home,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “Our legislation will help the VA improve the quality and timeliness of service by promoting the training and hiring of well-qualified veterans to work in VAMCs. It will also provide opportunities for veterans who are transitioning into civilian life to consider careers within the VA. I look forward to working with my colleague General Bergman to advance this commonsense legislation in the full House.”
“For years, the Department of Veterans Affairs has seen many of its medical personnel leave to pursue opportunities outside of the VA—resulting in fewer healthcare providers, and ultimately less access to care, for our Veterans,” said Congressman Bergman. “The GOOD Act addresses this problem by creating a tool for the VA to better recruit and retain qualified medical talent while also establishing additional educational benefits for Veterans who want to pursue a career as a physician’s assistant. Our Veterans have given so much for our country, at exceptional costs, and they deserve access to timely and high-quality healthcare from skilled professionals. I’m proud to join my colleague from New Hampshire to introduce this bipartisan legislation on behalf of our nation’s Veterans.”