U.S. Representative Gene Green introduced H.R. 916, the Preventive Medicine and Public Health Training Act, and H.R. 914 the Physician Workforce Enhancement Act, with Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) in a bipartisan effort to address the growing physician shortage in the nation.

“Our public health system is already spread too thin and not enough trained professionals are available to cope with the growing demand,” said Rep. Green. “These bills are aimed at providing more resources to hospitals and to individuals wanting to be part of the public health system. ”

The Preventive Medicine and Public Health Training Act will provide $43 million in training grants through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to schools of public health, public health departments, medical schools, or hospitals to plan and develop residency programs in Preventive Medicine, to provide financial aid to residents (to pursue an MPH), or to defray costs associated with a residency training program.

“Every year fewer trained Preventative Medicine professionals are available to fill essential leadership roles at hospitals and clinics,” said Rep. Green. “They provide health screenings, promote disease prevention in at-risk populations, lead public health agencies, become epidemiologists or experts in occupational health. They are essential to maintaining a healthy general population.”

A second piece of legislation introduced with Representative Burgess, the Physician Workforce Enhancement Act, will assist small hospitals that serve rural or growing areas. The goal of this legislation is to provide hospitals with interest-free loans to establish a residency training program for certain high need medical specialties. Under the program, hospitals could receive up to $1 million over 4 years.

“The legislation we are introducing is targeted at the weakest spots of the medical workforce – specializations like family and emergency medicine for small and developing communities,” said Rep. Burgess.