May 03, 2022 | Downers Grove, IL
Students and faculty members from Midwestern University’s Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine (CCOM) participated in a national event in Washington, D.C. to inform lawmakers about the importance of osteopathic medicine and encourage action on vital healthcare issues.
Organized by the American Osteopathic Association, DO Day on Capitol Hill is an opportunity for DOs and osteopathic medical students to engage with legislators and communicate their position on important health policy issues. Members of the CCOM group included 21 students representing 10 different states. They conducted 38 meetings with legislators including Illinois Senators Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, and others to discuss support for the CONNECT for Health Act which would increase access to care for Medicare beneficiaries by expanding coverage and removing restrictions for telehealth services on a permanent basis; support for the Rural America Health Corps Act, that would establish a student loan repayment program for providers who agree to work for five years in rural areas with a shortage of primary, dental, or mental healthcare providers; and a request to stop Medicare sequestration that would cause an automatic reduction of federal spending that could lead to decreased patient access to care as well as further financial strain on providers and clinics.
“We felt welcomed in our meetings and that our voices were heard. Many offices agreed with the importance of our issues. We were also able to thank representatives and senators who have shown support for these issues,” said Jenn Will (CCOM 2025), president of the Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA) chapter on the Downers Grove Campus of Midwestern University.
The CCOM contingent joined more than 1,000 students and osteopathic physicians from across the nation who participated in the event. “It’s important for osteopathic medical students to participate in advocacy because we represent the future of medicine. Advocating for our future patients and profession is extremely valuable so that issues, impacting not only our patients but us as future physicians as well, can be heard and addressed,” Jenn added.
Founded in 1900, the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine educates physicians to provide compassionate quality care and commit to lifelong learning, research, and service. Students in the program benefit from caring faculty mentors, robust research opportunities, outstanding clinical rotation sites, and join other students studying a variety of healthcare disciplines at Midwestern University.