As hospital leaders prepared to meet with their lawmakers on April 16 following the conclusion of the AHA's 2024 Annual Membership Meeting, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., urged hospitals to speak up about the challenges and realities they face, particularly as they contend with crippling workforce shortages nationwide.

“People don't want to hear a speech, they love to hear a story — and you’ve got plenty of them,” Durbin said. “So, when it comes to the financial situations you’re facing, when it comes to medical professionals’ challenges, tell [lawmakers] the story.”
 
Durbin is a primary driver behind several pieces of AHA-supported legislation. The bipartisan, Durbin-sponsored Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act would recapture up to 40,000 unused employment visas for nurses and for physicians. A separate bill sponsored by Durbin, the bipartisan Restoring America’s Health Care Workforce and Readiness Act, would reauthorize the mandatory portion of the National Health Service Corps through fiscal year 2026 and double funding for its scholarships and loan repayment for health care workers who serve in federally designated shortage areas.
 

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