Federal Governmental Affairs

The Division of Governmental Affairs is the College's liaison with the Congress and Federal government departments and agencies. It is responsible for developing and maintaining an effective working relationship with the Senate, the House of Representatives, Congressional committees and Committee staff, and Federal government departments, and agencies.

Major areas of responsibilities are:

  • Manages the presentation of the College's legislative and budgetary programs before congressional appropriations and authorizing committees.
  • Advises and assists College members and staff in preparing for appearances before congressional committees.
  • Coordinates and reviews the preparation of College testimony submitted to Congress, prepares briefing materials for College witnesses, coordinates the preparation of responses to pre- and post-hearing questions for the record and reviews transcripts of Meharry-related congressional hearings.
  • Provides information on College programs and activities to members of Congress and staff and arranges for formal and informal briefings in response to congressional requests.
  • Advises the President, Faculty and staff on congressional actions affecting the College and provides guidance on the most effective responses.
  • Compiles legislative history materials for congressionally enacted legislation that affects College programs and activities.Reviews and maintains files on congressional correspondence.
  • Builds communication and promotes cooperation with each Federal agency that interacts with the College.
  • Serves as an information resource for the College on relevant decisions, issues and activities of other government agencies.
  • Coordinates College participation in activities, seminars, hearings, conferences and workshops sponsored by other Federal agencies, Colleges and departments.

Priorities
GME
America has the world's best doctors and nurses because we have the best teaching hospitals. However, cuts to graduate medical education (GME) would jeopardize the ability of medical schools and teaching hospitals to train physicians, nurses, and other health care providers, as well as limit critical services to the community.  Cutting the deficit is important, but cutting physician training at a time when our nation faces a critical shortage of doctors would threaten the health of all Americans.

Health Professions
Meharry Medical College strongly advocates continued and robust funding for Title VII health professions programs under the Public Health Service Act.

Title VII is the only federal programs that support education/training opportunities for an array of aspiring and practicing health professionals, both facilitating career opportunities and bringing health care services to rural and underserved communities. Through educational experiences in interdisciplinary, community-based settings, the programs enhance the supply, diversity, and distribution of the workforce and fill the gaps in the supply of health professionals not met by traditional market forces.

These programs, administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), are funded annually under the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill.

Diversity and Health Equity
To increase diversity in medical education and to advance health care equity in the United States, our efforts focus on four general areas:

  • diversify the applicant pool
  • encourage more African Americans, Latinos/as, and Native Americans to consider medicine as a career
  • work to reduce health disparities by supporting a more diverse medical school faculty and administration
  • conduct research on the impact of diversity

NIH
The National Institutes of Health (NIH), a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the largest source of funding for medical research in the world.

More than 80 percent of the NIH's budget goes to more than 300,000 research personnel at over 3,000 universities and research institutions, with more than half of this extramural funding going to the nation's medical schools and teaching hospitals.

Meharry Medical College works closely with a broad spectrum of stakeholders for Medical Research to advocate sustainable funding support commensurate with growing opportunities for scientific discovery and improved health.

Meharry Medical College also collaborates with NIH and the scientific community to promote policies that maintain and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the medical research enterprise.

Medicare Teaching Hospital Payments
Medicare makes two payments that only go to teaching hospitals: Direct Graduate Medical Education (DGME) and Indirect Medical Education (IME) payments. The DGME payment helps offset the direct costs teaching hospitals incur when training Medical residents. The IME payment is intended to help offset the higher patient care costs incurred by teaching hospitals as a result of their more complex patient population and teaching and research missions. The payment methodology for both of these payments relies on each hospital's resident count.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
Since 1946, affiliations between VA medical centers and the nation's health professions schools have provided a critical link that brings expert clinicians and researchers to the VA health system.

These long-standing affiliations are a major factor in ensuring quality care for U.S. veterans and represent a model partnership between the federal government and non-federal institutions.

The AAMC represents 62 Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers; 124 VA medical centers have affiliation agreements with medicals schools; and over 70 percent of medical students rotate through the VA during their training.