WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today announced that the year-end appropriations bill includes $295 million for the Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) program, which supports children’s health care by providing freestanding children’s hospitals with federal funding to train pediatricians and pediatric specialists. This marks a $30 million dollar increase from fiscal year 2015.
“Caring for our nation’s children demands specialized pediatric training,” said Brown. “Since its enactment in 1999, the Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education program has helped train pediatricians and other professionals to treat our children. This funding boost will help Ohio’s children’s hospitals that rely on these resources to ensure that all of our children have a healthy start in life.”
“We can’t thank Senator Brown enough for his continued leadership and support of Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education program,” said Deborah Feldman, president and CEO, Dayton Children’s Hospital. “Federal CHGME funds are critical to Dayton Children’s ability to maintain our strong pediatric academic program with Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine and the United States Air Force. While we are only 1 percent of all hospitals, independent children’s hospitals, like Dayton Children’s, train nearly 30 percent of all pediatricians, nearly half of all pediatric sub-specialists, and a majority of pediatric researchers in the country. These funds make sure we have the pediatric experts Ohio’s kids need.”
The passage of this legislation provides continued funding for the children’s hospitals in Ohio that continue to depend on CHGME dollars, helping ensure our doctors receive the training necessary to provide our children with the highest quality of care. Brown led the effort to include CHGME funding in this year’s appropriations package.
A five-year reauthorization of the program was signed into law in April 2014. While serving in the U.S. House of Representatives as the Ranking Democrat on a key health subcommittee, Brown authored the Children’s Hospitals Education and Research Act of 1998, which first proposed the CHGME program. In March 2015, Brown led 31 Senators in a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee seeking continued funding in fiscal year 2016. Ohio is home to seven institutions that have depended upon on CHGME funds.
Brown has worked to expand access to care for children. In January, Brown joined a bipartisan group of six senators to introduce legislation that would help coordinate care and improve health outcomes for children covered by Medicaid with medically complex conditions – a top legislative priority for these families and children’s hospitals across the country. The Advancing Care for Exceptional Kids Act of 2015, or “ACE Kids Act” would improve care coordination, quality measures, and cost containment for children in Medicaid who need specialized care and often need to cross state lines to get it.
Brown also led efforts in the Senate to extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). In February, he introduced the Protecting & Retaining Our Children’s Health Insurance Program (PRO-CHIP) Act. PRO-CHIP would extend funding for CHIP through fiscal year 2019. This bill was the baseline policy for the two-year CHIP extension that passed in April as part of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015.