WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced he was able to secure investments to help improve healthcare for Ohio mothers, children, and families in the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (L-HHS) Appropriations bill that the Senate passed today. Brown led efforts to ensure the package includes $325 million for the Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) program to help train new pediatricians and $123 million for the Healthy Start Program to improve maternal and infant health. The final L-HHS Appropriations conference report now heads to the House for final passage before heading to the President’s desk for signature.
“Healthcare institutions and collaboratives in Ohio are among the best in the world, and they need our support as they continue providing critical services to patients of all ages,” said Brown. “These investments will help keep Ohio families healthy while also strengthening Ohio communities and our healthcare workforce.”
The CHGME Program supports Ohio Children’s hospitals and helps train the next generation of pediatricians by providing children’s teaching hospitals with the federal support they need to train new physicians. Brown and Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) introduced legislation to reauthorize the program for an additional five years. As a part of the bipartisan omnibus spending deal reached in Congress earlier this year, Brown and Portman helped secure the highest-ever funding levels for the CHGME program at $315 million. As a result of a letter Brown led to appropriators earlier this year, the current funding bill, expected to pass later this week, includes $325 million for the CHGME program for Fiscal Year 2019 – an increase of $10 million from last year.
Brown and Portman led prior efforts to include CHGME funding in annual appropriations packages and have consistently voted to reauthorize this critical program, which Brown helped to create in 1999. This legislation will ensure continued funding for the children’s hospitals in Ohio that rely on CHGME dollars to help support the training necessary to provide our children with the highest quality of care.
The Healthy Start Initiative, through the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provides assistance to pregnant women and new mothers by helping connect them with health care and other resources to foster healthy childhood development. The program helps connect mothers with support, with a particular emphasis on combatting infant mortality. Ohio is home to five healthy start projects in Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Cincinnati, and Toledo.