Federal Issue Brief

 H.R. 525 Veterinary Public Health Amendments Act

Special Interest:

AVMA-AAVMC letter to HHS (June 16, 2011)

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PDF file View bill summary and status(PDF)

Sponsor:

Representative Tammy Baldwin D-WI-2

AVMA Position:

Active Pursuit of Passage

Summary:

  • Enhances and increases the number of veterinarians trained in veterinary public health which includes biodefense and emergency preparedness, emerging and reemerging infectious diseases, environmental health, ecosystem health, pre- and post-harvest food protection, regulatory medicine, diagnostic laboratory medicine, veterinary pathology, biomedical research, rural and government practice.

Authorizations for:

  • Public Health Workforce Grants: amends Subsections (b)(1)(A) and (d)(6) of section 765 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 295) to include "veterinary public health" as an eligible entity for workforce grants. These grants are awarded to eligible entities to increase the number of individuals in the public health workforce, to enhance the quality of such workforce, and to enhance the ability of the workforce to meet national, State, and local health care needs.
  • The Public Health Workforce Loan Repayment Program: amends Subparagraphs (A) and (B) of section 776(b)(1) of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 295f-1(b)(1)) to include veterinary public health as an eligible entity. This program is open to public health veterinarians and veterinary students studying public health at an accredited academic institution. The program provides loan repayment of up to $35,000 per year for three years for veterinarians who agree to serve in a Federal, State, local, or tribal public health agency or a related training fellowship.

Justification:

  • Veterinary medicine is an integral component of our nation's public health system.
  • H.R. 525 is consistent with AVMA policy on increasing human resource capacity in veterinary public practice.
  • Veterinarians protect human health by preventing and controlling infectious diseases, ensuring the safety and security of the nation's food supply, promoting healthy environments, and providing health care for animals.
  • Veterinarians are uniquely qualified to address high priority public health issues because of their extensive professional training in basic biomedical sciences, population medicine, and broad, multi-species, comparative medical approach to disease prevention and control.

Current Status:

Sponsored by Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WO-2). Introduced 2/8/2011, referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce; 3/8/2011 Passed by the House of Representatives (280-138); 3/9/2011 Received in the Senate, referred to the Committee on Health Education, Labor and Pensions.

AVMA Contact:

Dr. Mark Lutschaunig, Director, AVMA Governmental Relations Division, 202-289-3205