Kaptur Introduces Bipartisan Legislation to Cultivate Next Generation of Veterans Health Administration Physicians and Medical Professionals

February 14, 2019
Press Release
Bill works to fill VA’s 30,000 health care vacancies

Washington, D.C. — Today, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), alongside Representatives John Rutherford (FL-4), Tim Ryan (OH-13), and Derek Kilmer (WA-6), introduced the bipartisan Veterans’-Specific Education for Tomorrow’s Health Professionals Act of 2019.


The bill would create a one-year pilot program at a minimum of five Veteran Health Administration (VHA) medical centers to give undergraduates enrolled in pre-health programs the opportunity to gain clinical observation experience. Students would earn a deeper understanding of veterans’ specific health needs and experiences and in the process create a viable pipeline of future VHA physicians and medical professionals. The program would prioritize students specializing in health professions with an identified staffing shortage, as well as first generation college students, students referred by minority-serving institutions, and veterans.


“Congress has a duty to ensure that our veterans, those who sacrificed so much for our country and for the liberty we all enjoy, receive the highest quality health care from the most highly trained health professionals. This bill furthers that effort,” said Rep. Kaptur. “I urge my colleagues to support this commonsense legislation so we may send it to the President’s desk without delay.”


“Since being elected to Congress, one of my top priorities has been to ensure that our nation’s veterans have access to quality health care,” said Rep. Rutherford. “The VET HP Act is one tool we can use to help create a pipeline of health professionals that both our VA and private hospitals desperately need. I would like to thank my colleague Representative Kaptur for her continued leadership, and I look forward to working with her on this issue.”


“This bill helps us move forward on two big priorities,” said Rep. Kilmer. “First, it extends opportunities to more students who aspire to become future health professionals, particularly those looking to serve in underserved areas. Second, it alleviates the shortage of doctors and other health professionals at the VA, helping to ensure that those who serve get the care they’ve earned. I’m grateful for Rep. Kaptur’s leadership on this legislation, and I’m very proud to support it.”


“The VET HP Act would strengthen recruiting of desperately-needed medical professionals to the VA,” said Rep. Ryan. “Not only would it build a bridge between civilian and military communities, but this legislation would increase opportunities for our students to gain valuable experience in the medical field and connect undergraduate students with our nation’s heroes. And this exposure ultimately leads to a better understanding of how to care for our veterans’ health needs.”


The Veterans’-Specific Education for Tomorrow’s Health Professionals Act previously passed the House of Representatives on September 24, 2018 and has been endorsed by the American Legion and Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA).