The AVMA advocates actively for policy solutions that will improve access to veterinary care in America's rural communities. Timely veterinary care is key to detecting and preventing highly contagious animal diseases, like foot-and-mouth disease and avian influenza. It’s also critical to maintaining a healthy, safe food supply.
For many years, some rural communities have suffered from inadequate access to the veterinarians needed to care for livestock. The AVMA is a leading supporter of federal legislation and policies that address these access gaps by providing student loan support, federal grants, and other assistance to help veterinarians serve rural communities.
Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP)
The Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP) helps place food animal and public health veterinarians in high-need rural areas. It does this by providing strategic loan repayment help in exchange for veterinary service in these areas. The AVMA was instrumental in implementing this program, which has been tremendously successful in bringing veterinarians into federally designated veterinary shortage areas.
Now, the AVMA is working to maximize the reach of this important program by making VMLRP awards non-taxable. This would expand the number of participants who could be funded without adding to the program’s budget footprint. Applications for the VMLRP program routinely exceed available funding, which leaves many veterinary shortage areas unfilled. The proposed VMLRP Enhancement Act would help alleviate the problem.
Learn more about the program’s importance and how Congress can increase its effectiveness.
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