Senate Hearing on Health Care Workforce

The Senate HELP Committee hosted its first hearing of the 118th Congress on February 16th, 2023, titled, “Examining Health Care Workforce Shortages: Where Do We Go From Here?” Under the leadership of Chairman Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and Ranking Member Bill Cassidy (R-LA), this hearing discussed navigating the healthcare workforce crisis with leaders from universities and

Effective Behavioral Health Crisis Response: Webinar

On February 23, 2023, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) hosted a webinar about the behavioral health crisis and the homeless community. Panelists noted that the current crisis response system is broken and perpetuates inequities. Moreover, people in crisis are often stuck in a repetitive cycle of only momentary inadequate care. Lack

Budget and Spending Debates Continue

During the State of the Union Address, President Biden took the opportunity to address the debt ceiling negotiations, noting that there had been proposals to make cuts to Medicare and Social Security spending. Republicans vehemently and loudly denied such plans, and in one of the few bipartisan moments of the night, both parties seemed to

Webinar: Farm Bill 101

On Wednesday, February 15th, First Focus on Children and The Education Trust hosted a webinar to educate on struggles that may arise with the reauthorization of the FARM Bill this year. Katie Bergh, Senior Policy Analyst for the Food Assistance Team at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, spoke about her previous experience with

Unwinding Medicaid Continuous Coverage: Requirements & Red Flags

On February 14, 2023, the National Health Law Program (NHeLP) hosted a webinar to provide awareness in identifying red flags as states begin their unwinding period for the continuous coverage provision. NHeLP is a national non-profit law firm that is “committed to improving health care access, equity, and quality for underserved individuals and families” and

Childhood Adversity and Health Disparities

A new study in the American Journal of Psychiatry indicates that childhood adversity leaves a mark on the brain, changing regions that process stress and trauma. By analyzing MRI scans, researchers found small differences in certain brain structures that they believe could accumulate over time and lead to mental health problems later. Black children were

SAMHSA Webinar on Behavioral Health Disparities

On February 16, 2023, SAMHSA held a virtual round table discussion focused upon behavioral health disparities within the Black community. Moderated by Brandon Johnson, several guest speakers spoke about their personal experiences and subsequent work in reducing the stigma and taboo associated with receiving therapy in Black communities. This problem is urgent, as the Black

Mitigating Risks of Substance Use

On February 16th, 2023, the National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare (NCSACW) hosted a webinar titled, “Mitigating Safety and Risk for Children Affected by Parental Substance Use Disorders Involved in the Child Welfare System.” The event aimed to spread awareness of the challenges and opportunities for helping parents with Substance Use Disorders (SUDs).

Federal Funding for Substance Misuse

On February 2, 2023, the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors (NASADAD) published a comprehensive resource that summarizes fiscal year (FY) 2023 funding for key federal programs related to substance use disorders (SUD). The resource includes a chart that tracks funding of programs under the authority of the Department of Health and

Paid Leave Legislation Introduced

On February 1, 2023, Democratic lawmakers marked the 30th anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) with a press conference announcing a new legislative package to establish a paid family and medical leave program and to expand and modernize FMLA. The FMLA program has successfully allowed employees to take reasonable time off to

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