Sens. Tim Kaine, D-Va., Todd Young, R-Ind., Jack Reed, D-R.I., and Bill Cassidy, R-La., today introduced the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act, AHA-supported legislation that aims to prevent suicide, burnout and behavioral health disorders among health care professionals. Rep. Susan Wild, D-Pa., also introduced the legislation in the House of Representatives. Named for a doctor who led the emergency department at NewYork-Presbyterian Allen Hospital, the bill would authorize grants for providers to establish programs that offer behavioral health services for front-line workers. It also would require the Department of Health and Human Services to study and recommend strategies to address provider burnout and facilitate resiliency, and direct the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to launch a campaign encouraging health care workers to seek assistance when needed.
“Front-line health care workers have been steadfast in leading the fight against this pandemic since the first COVID-19 cases were identified last January, and their efforts have been extraordinary,” AHA said in a letter of support for the bill. “… These workers need and deserve added support as they continue to care for severely ill patients.”