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AACN's Washington Weekly

Published September 30, 2020

Senate HELP Committee Holds Virtual Hearing on COVID-19 Federal Response

On September 23, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a hearing to update the American people on the federal response to COVID-19. Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Dr. Robert Redfield, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ADM Dr. Brett Giroir, Assistant Secretary for Health at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and Dr. Stephen Hahn, Commissioner of Food and Drugs at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), testified on the latest information available to combat the ongoing pandemic. The four reaffirmed their commitment to the fight against COVID-19 and assured HELP committee members that any COVID-19 vaccine will undergo a strict review process before it is available for the public. Additionally, they urged the public to get vaccinated for the flu season to reduce any potential burden on the healthcare system in the coming months. Click here to view the hearing.

Ways and Means Committee Issues Request for Information

On September 17, the House Ways and Means Committee issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking input from organizations and individuals about how to address the misuse of race and ethnicity in clinical algorithms and research. This RFI comes after a separate request was made earlier this month to professional societies and after the historic May 27 hearing on the Disproportionate Impact of COVID-19 on Communities of Color. Submissions should not exceed three pages and can be submitted by email in .pdf or .docx format to: here to view the full RFI.

Administration Action: Recently Released Executive Orders

The Administration has recently released several Executive Orders (EOs) focusing on healthcare and diversity as listed below. AACN will monitor and comment as the Administration continues to highlight EOs that impact the health care of the nation.

  • On September 13, 2020, the Administration signed an Executive Order Lowering Drug Prices by Putting America First stating that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) can cap certain prescription drug prices for Medicare to “most-favored-nation price.” The EO proposes drug prices be aligned with the lowest cost of a drug sold to any country in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that has a comparable per-capita gross domestic product.

  • On September 22, 2020, an Executive Order Combatting Race and Sex Stereotyping was signed, banning federal contractors from utilizing training that “inculcates in its employees any form of race or sex stereotyping,” which is defined as “ascribing character traits, values, moral and ethical codes, privileges, status, or beliefs to a race or sex, or to an individual because of his or her race or sex.” See AACN’s latest Rounds with Leadership
  • On September 24, 2020, an Executive Order on an America First Healthcare Plan was signed, to protect individuals with preexisting conditions, promote access to affordable health care, and outlines investments in critical research surrounding issues such as pediatric cancer, sickle cell disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Doctoral Fellowship Opportunity at NINR

The National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) is now accepting applications for the 2021 Graduate Partnerships Program (GPP). The GPP is a doctoral fellowship training program for PhD students in a school of nursing. The program is a combination of academic coursework at a student’s school of nursing and research opportunities within the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The GPP encourages and supports the training of nursing doctoral students who want to pursue careers in basic or clinical research. NINR GPP fellows will focus their dissertation research in areas of symptoms and symptom management, health promotion, disease prevention, tissue injury, and genetics. Students should apply prior to their final year of doctoral coursework in order to start their dissertation’s research through the GPP. All applications are due by 11:59 p.m. ET on Tuesday, December 1, 2020. Click here for more details.

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