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Dingell, Kiggans, Wild, Carter, Kaine, Young Introduce Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Reauthorization Act

Representatives Debbie Dingell (MI-06), Jen Kiggans (VA-03), Susan Wild (PA-07), and Buddy Carter (GA-01) with Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Todd Young (R-IN) today introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation to reauthorize the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act to reduce and prevent suicide, burnout, and mental and behavioral health conditions among health care professionals. 
“Healthcare professionals dedicate their lives to serving their patients, often at the expense of their own physical and emotional wellbeing,” said Congresswoman Dingell. “I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing this legislation that will provide much-needed resources to address the mental and behavioral health conditions doctors and nurses face and continue reducing the stigma surrounding mental health care.” 
“I’m proud to be leading the bipartisan effort to eliminate stigmas surrounding mental health and provide the support that our incredible nurses, physicians, and other healthcare professionals in our communities deserve,” said Congresswoman Kiggans. “With shortages throughout our healthcare system, it is more important than ever to provide our medical professionals with the support and training needed to properly care for themselves and their patients.”
“Dr. Lorna Breen was a hero, one of many health care providers who put their lives on the line to keep us safe during the pandemic. And she was one of countless health care heroes who face mental health crises and a suicide rate twice that of the general public, largely due to the demanding, all-consuming nature of their work,” said Congresswoman Wild. “I was proud to introduce the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act last Congress and see it become law. Now, we must reauthorize this critical law to continue carrying on Dr. Breen’s legacy and investing in support for health workers’ mental health needs.”
“Our health care providers are some of the best among us, but too often, their mental health needs are not given adequate resources and support. This must change. By reauthorizing the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act, we will prioritize health care providers’ well-being by ensuring their access to evidence-based mental health and substance use disorder strategies and education,” said Congressman Carter.
“Our health care providers make countless sacrifices to care for us, and we owe it to them to provide them with the mental health care and resources they need,” said Senator Kaine. “This bill will build on the progress the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act made and ensure we are continuing to do what we can to prevent burnout, protect the well-being of our health care workforce, address shortages in the field, and help Virginians get high-quality care.”
“As we’ve seen so often over the past several years, our frontline workers put their own health on the line every day to serve our communities in Indiana and across the country,” said Senator Young. “Congress must act to reauthorize this important program to provide our health care workforce with needed support to prevent suicide and promote mental and behavioral health.”

Specifically, Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Reauthorization Act would:

  • Reauthorize a grant program for health care organizations and professional associations for employee education on strategies to reduce burnout, peer-support programming, and mental and behavioral health treatment for five years. Communities with a shortage of health care workers, rural communities, and those experiencing burnout due to administrative burdens like lengthy paperwork will be prioritized.
  • Reauthorize a grant program for health profession schools or other institutions to train health care workers and students in strategies to prevent suicide, burnout, mental health conditions, and substance use disorders for five years.
  • Reauthorize a national evidence-based education and awareness campaign. Currently, the campaign provides hospital and health system leaders with evidence-informed solutions to reduce health care worker burnout. Reauthorization will provide resources for the campaign to continue and expand beyond its current scope. 
    Full text of the bill is available here.
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