Health Center Volunteer Health Professional Program

The Senate HELP Committee released a discussion draft of the Prepare for and Respond to Existing Viruses, Emerging New Threats, and Pandemics Act (PREVENT Pandemics Act). This legislation focuses on strengthening the nation’s public health and medical preparedness and response systems in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, the bill includes language that removes the current statutory expiration date for the Health Center Volunteer Health Professionals Program. Currently, more than 100 health centers utilize more than 500 volunteer providers through the program. NACHC has pushed for an extension given the ongoing workforce shortages that many health centers are facing. A section-by-section summary and full text are available. The Senate HELP Committee is accepting comments on the draft through February 4, 2022, and could move to mark up the legislation after reviewing stakeholder feedback.