Baldwin urges Senate to pass bipartisan legislation that boosts the health care workforce to help Americans with life-threatening illnesses

WASHINGTON, D.C. – After the House of Representatives unanimously passed the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA), U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin is calling on the Senate to take action and support her bipartisan reform to grow, improve and sustain the palliative care and hospice workforce. Senator Baldwin introduced this bipartisan legislation with Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) last year to strengthen our health care workforce to keep pace with patient need and to help improve the well-being of Americans with life-threatening illnesses and their families.

“I’m proud to have worked across party lines to introduce the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act with my colleague Senator Capito, and I applaud the House for unanimously passing this bipartisan reform,” said Senator Baldwin. “It’s time for the Senate to take action and get this done so we can help grow and sustain our health care workforce to safeguard and improve the quality of care for the growing number of patients with serious or life-threatening illnesses.”

The Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act would strengthen training for new and existing physicians, those who teach palliative care, and other providers who are part of the palliative care team to give patients and their families a voice in their care and treatment goals. It also boosts palliative care research and provides academic and career awards to incentivize the practice and study of palliative and hospice care.

This bill has strong support, including Alzheimer’s Association, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), and the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM). Wisconsin groups supporting PCHETA include the Alzheimer’s Association Wisconsin Chapters, Alzheimer’s & Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Aging Advocacy Network and the Palliative Care Network of Wisconsin.

Palliative care and hospice care focus on relieving and preventing patients’ suffering and improving their quality of life. This team-based approach focuses on the patients’ needs, explains treatment options and gives patients and their families a voice in realizing their treatment goals. Palliative care has been embraced in Wisconsin as a critical component of high quality health care.

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