Rosen, Colleagues Lead Bipartisan Bill to Grow and Support the Infectious Disease and Pandemic Preparedness Workforce

WASHINGTON, D.C. –Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), joined Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) in introducing the Bolstering Infectious Outbreak (BIO) Preparedness Workforce Act, bipartisan legislation that would establish a new student loan repayment program for infectious disease (ID) clinicians and other health care professionals who work in public health preparedness and response. 

“For nearly two years, the pandemic has put unprecedented demands on our health care system, and has been particularly challenging for medical professionals in the infectious disease and public health fields,” said Senator Rosen. “This bipartisan legislation will help address ongoing retention and recruitment issues that have been exacerbated by COVID-19, leading to a shortage of clinicians and public health professionals. We must ensure Nevada’s health care system has the workforce needed to continue fighting this pandemic while preparing for future public health emergencies, and this bill is an important next step.”  

The bipartisan BIO Preparedness Workforce Act would establish a new student loan repayment program for infectious disease clinicians and bio-preparedness health care professionals, including physicians, clinical pharmacists, physician assistants, and advanced practice registered nurses. For each year of service, a qualified individual may receive up to $50,000 and up to a total of $150,000 in loan repayment, with $50 million authorized for the program.

The BIO Preparedness Workforce Act is supported by Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security, American Medical Association (AMA), American Hospital Association (AHA), National Rural Health Association (NHA), American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC), Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA), the HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA), AIDS Institute, American Association for the Study of Liver Disease (AASLD), Association for Clinical Microbiology (ASM), and Society for Health Care Epidemiology (SHEA).