Last week, the U.S. Senate passed the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act, a bipartisan bill developed to address the high rates of burnout among health care professionals and the high suicide rate among doctors.
Advocacy from the osteopathic medical profession helped contribute to the Lorna Breen Act’s success in the Senate. The act was one of the major policy asks at DO Day 2021 and has also been an ongoing online grassroots priority with the Osteopathic Advocacy Network (OAN). The AOA also collaborated with affiliate organizations to support the bill.
The next step is for the House of Representatives to review the bill; the OAN is planning for a grassroots campaign supporting the bill when the House is back in session in mid-September.
“Even before the pandemic, far too many health care workers suffered from work-related burnout and depression,” said Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.), the bill’s sponsor, in a statement. “Unfortunately, these mental health challenges have only been exacerbated during COVID-19, putting the well-being of our healers at risk. I’m proud to see my bipartisan Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act, legislation to equip our medical professionals with resources to cope with the challenges they face, pass the Senate and get one step closer to becoming law.”
If enacted, the Lorna Breen Act would authorize grants for mental and behavioral health treatment for health care professionals as well as grants for health care professional education and training on strategies to reduce and prevent burnout, suicide and mental health conditions.