Urgent Legislative Call to Action

  • 15 Apr 2024

There are currently 4 bills proposed in the Rhode Island House and Senate to address the primary care workforce shortage set to be heard by the Finance Committees. A strong showing of community support is needed to let the legislature know how important the bills are in addressing the primary care access crisis. CTC-RI is encouraging everyone affected by this crisis to write a letter to their legislator and key leaders in the House and Senate to let them know why it is important for the state to approve these bills. A Take Action Toolkit was created to facilitate writing a letter of support! The Toolkit contains information on the bills, a legislator look-up link, and a template for crafting a strong letter of support or testimony. The letter template includes email addresses for key leaders in the Senate and House. In-person or written testimony is critical when the bills are heard before the Finance committees. Legislators want to hear real-life stories about how the primary care workforce crisis impacts community members on a personal level. Please contact CTC-RI at ctc-ri@ctc-ri.org if you are interested in joining Task Force members in testifying at the hearings. Below are descriptions of how the 4 bills strengthen and diversify the primary care workforce:

  • S-2716 and H-7902 provide new funding for clinical training sites in RI, with specific primary care training criteria and curriculum. This fills a huge gap in primary care training in our state, ensuring training sites can dedicate capacity and resources to growing our future primary care provider workforce. 
  • S-2717 and H-7903 fund a 4-year scholarship program for primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants. The students would either remain in RI after medical school or return to RI after residency training in family medicine, pediatrics, or general internal medicine to practice primary care for 8 years. The goals would be to encourage medical students to practice in these fields due to the reduction or elimination of their student debt. 
  • H-8079 and S- appropriates $1,000,000 annually for the Health Professional Loan Repayment Program, helping RI recruit and retain our future representative primary care and broader healthcare workforce, from nurses to audiologists. 
  • H-8078 and S2867 implement a new grant program to fund public and private partnerships that provide “ladders to licensure’ – pathways for healthcare paraprofessionals to pursue higher education degrees and health professional licensure, including behavioral health and nursing. Importantly, this will also help diversify our workforce.