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NEPIG Praises House Passage of Palliative Care Act

Date: 
Nov 1, 2019

The Nursing Education and Palliative Care Interest Group (NEPIG)  – an ad hoc group  of nursing students, nurse researchers, palliative care providers and nursing faculty praises the passage of the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA) (H.R. 647), which received overwhelming bipartisan support in the House of Representatives.

Beginning in 2017, NEPIG worked locally and with the support of US Representative Jim McGovern. This bill introduced by Congressmen Eliot Engel (D-NY), Tom Reed (R-NY), Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Buddy Carter (R-GA), Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Greg Walden (R-OR), represents a significant first step towards expanding palliative care access for all Americans and a significant step toward health equity given the grave inequities that exist currently in geriatric and palliative care access that are projected to grow. The education and training that is necessary in meeting this need remains inadequate in healthcare provider education as it exists currently.  There is a significant shortage of health care providers educated and skilled to provide quality care for individuals and their families facing serious, advanced or life-limiting illness.  PCHETA is one step in addressing this.

The PCHETA bill amends the Public Health Service Act to require the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide support for Palliative Care and Hospice Education Centers. These centers must improve the training of health professionals in palliative care. 

In the College of Nursing at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, this legislation is important in the future of nursing care. Specifically, advanced practice nurses, through opportunities of education and training that this bill supports, can be directly influential in improving health equity by delivering high quality palliative care. Ask the Senate to act quickly on this legislation, where a similar measure, S.2080, is currently being sponsored by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV).

If you would like to be part of the Nursing Education and Palliative Care Interest Group please email:  Raeann LeBlanc, Clinical Assistant Professor @ rgleblann@umass.edu

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