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AACN's Washington Weekly

Published June 16, 2021

American Association of Colleges of Nursing - Washington Weekly - Your Inside Track to Federal Policy

AACN Attends National Health Equity Summit

From June 7-10, AACN attended the virtual National Health Equity Summit hosted by Global Health Care, LLC. Over 8,000 people participated in the event, which included 44 “Mini Summits” and 26 plenary sessions. Strategies for addressing health equity by racial or ethnic group, healthcare setting, and specialty were discussed. Highlights included conversations with the recently confirmed Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. Administrator Brooks-LaSure highlighted CMS’s priorities and role in the nation’s health equity efforts. The Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, closed the Summit by addressing structural impacts on social determinants of health. She emphasized that “when one of us is unwell, none of us are well,” and urged attendees to listen to the data, follow the science, and do their part to end structural racism and achieve health equity for all Americans. Click here to see the full agenda and learn more.

Senate Committee Addresses Mental Health 

On June 15, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing titled, “Mental Health Care in America: Addressing Root Causes and Identifying Policy Solutions.” Witnesses included mental health experts and directors of state and local health centers. The panel discussed the current mental health crisis in the country, which is exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and racial inequities. Currently, one in three Americans lives in a mental health professionals shortage area, and the witnesses stressed that more must be done to strengthen the mental health workforce. The Committee and the witnesses agreed that telehealth has been instrumental in reaching rural populations and remains a crucial tool as Congress looks for ways to modernize mental health services. Click here to watch the Senate Finance Hearing.

Mark Your Calendar: CMS to Host Vaccine Outreach Webinars 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), in partnership with the We Can Do This campaign, announced they will be hosting a series of COVID-19 vaccine webinars through July 8. These webinars will provide community leaders with resources to support vaccine outreach efforts for all populations, including rural, underrepresented, minority, bilingual, and others. This is part of the overall work to reach the Administration’s goal of vaccinating 70% of the population by July 4. For more information on these webinars click here, and to register for the June 17 webinar focused on rural populations, click here.