McKinley Praises Passage of Bill to Provide Mental Health Support for Health Care Providers

McKinley serves as lead sponsor of the bill

Washington, DC –The Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act, H.R. 1667, sponsored by Congressman David B. McKinley, P.E., (WV-1), passed in the House last night. This bill will enhance the mental and behavioral health resources that are available to support health care professionals.

“The Covid-19 Pandemic took a toll on the mental health of all Americans, but our health care workers on the frontlines bore the emotional brunt of the pandemic’s challenges,” said McKinley.  “It’s time we take care of those who are charged with caring for the rest of us.”

“This bill supports the health care professionals who care for us in our times of need, prioritizing their well-being and removing the stigma surrounding metal health needs by providing access to training and tools to better address early signs of mental fatigue and behavioral health concerns,” said McKinley.

Dr. Lorna Breen was a talented emergency physician in New York City who was practicing medicine during the traumatic Covid-19 pandemic. The pressures of her work weighed heavily on her and sadly, Dr. Breen died by suicide.

Background

Specifically, the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act:

  • Establishes grants for training health profession students, residents, or healthcare professionals in evidence-informed strategies to reduce and prevent suicide, burnout, mental health conditions, and substance use disorders. The grants would also help improve healthcare professionals’ well-being and job satisfaction.
  • Seeks to identify and disseminate evidence-informed best practices for reducing and preventing suicide and burnout among healthcare professionals, training healthcare professionals in appropriate strategies, and promoting their mental and behavioral health and job satisfaction.
  • Establishes a national evidence-based education and awareness campaign targeting healthcare professionals to encourage them to seek support and treatment for mental and behavioral health concerns.
  • Establishes grants for employee education, peer-support programming, and mental and behavioral health treatment; healthcare providers in current or former COVID-19 hotspots will be prioritized.
  • Establishes a comprehensive study on healthcare professional mental and behavioral health and burnout, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on such professionals’ health.

Joining Reps. McKinley (R-W.Va.) and Susan Wild (D-PA) as original cosponsors are Representatives Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), Judy Chu (D-CA), Haley Stevens (D-MI), Fred Upton (R-MI), Morgan Griffith (R-VA) and John Katko (R-NY).

The Senate companion version to the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act was also introduced by Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) Todd Young (R-IN), Jack Reed (D-RI), and Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA).

The Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act is supported by: the American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM), American Academy Of Emergency Medicine Resident and Student Association (AAEM/RSA), American College of Emergency Physicians, American Academy of Dermatology Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Neurology, American Academy of PAs, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, American Association of Clinical Urologists, American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic (AACOM), American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, American Association of Neurological Surgeons, American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons, American College of Cardiology, American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), American College of Physicians, American College of Radiology, American College of Rheumatology, American College of Surgeons, American Counseling Association, American Dance Therapy Association, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, American Gastroenterological Association, American Hospital Association (AHA), American Medical Association, American Medical Student Association, American Medical Group Association, American Nurses Association, American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), American Osteopathic Association, American Psychiatric Association, American Society of Anesthesiologists, Association for Clinical Oncology, Association of American Medical Colleges, Associated Medical Schools of New York (AMSNY), Association for Ambulatory Behavioral Healthcare, Association for Behavioral Health and Wellness, Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), Ballad Health, Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD), Columbia University Irving Medical Center, Congress of Neurological Surgeons, Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation, EMDR International Association, Emergency Nurses Association, Envision Healthcare, Federation of State Medical Boards, Federation of State Physician Health Programs (FSPHP), The Joint Commission, Mental Health America, National Alliance on Mental Illness, National Association of Spine Specialists, National Association of Social Workers, National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, National Board Certified Counselors, National Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders, National Disability Rights Network (NDRN), Physicians Advocacy Institute, Postpartum Support International, Renal Physicians Association, RI International, SMART Recovery, Society for Vascular Surgery, The International OCD Foundation, The Jed Foundation, The Society of Thoracic Surgeons, UVA Health, and the Well Being Trust.

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