Washington D.C. – Reauthorizing a grant to provide Graduate Medical Education (GME) slots in Spokane, and the Export-Import Bank were two topics of discussion Wednesday as a 46-person delegation from the greater Spokane region completed a busy day of meetings with federal elected officials.
First, a summary from GSI President and CEO, Rich Hadley:
GME: A Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant was recently awarded to the groups Hadley mentioned above to create six residency slots in Spokane. That grant is set to expire in 2015, and reauthorizing it would help sustain current GME numbers in our region. Obtaining more GME slots has been one of the goals of establishing four years of medical education at Spokane’s Riverpoint Campus.
“We fully understand how important that funding is,” said Shawn Bills, Legislative Director for Senator Patty Murray (D-WA).
As we’ve said many times before: growing GME slots is essential for growing the amount of doctors practicing in our area, especially rural areas. Doctors are more likely to practice where they completed their residencies.
Export-Import Bank: The Export-Import Bank helps companies finance the export of goods and services to other countries. The bank needs to be reauthorized by Sept. 30.
“The Export-Import Bank has always enjoyed strong bipartisan support nearly unanimous reauthorization,” Rep. Denny Heck (D-WA) told the Spokane delegation.
Heck warned the delegation, though, that there is a growing number of outside groups that seek to stop the reauthorization.
Companies that use the Export-Import Bank are able to sell their goods and services and employ people.
A number of companies in Spokane use the Export-Import Bank to finance their exporting activities. Heck mentioned SCAFCO, as an example, as well as Commercial Creamery.
We’ll continue to keep an eye on this issue and push for the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank.
The Spokane delegation continues its trek in Washington D.C. The delegation will break into small groups on Thursday and meet with Air Force officials at the Pentagon, representatives from the aforementioned HRSA, and representatives from the Department of Education to talk about STEM.