Washington - The ADA and 70 likeminded stakeholders are praising Congress for passing the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act, legislation that will give health care workers better access to education and training in order to prevent stress and burnout.
Lorna Breen, M.D., was an emergency room physician in New York who died by suicide in 2020 after treating COVID-19 patients.
In a March 8 letter to leaders in the House and Senate, the groups, led by the American College of Emergency Physicians, thanked the lawmakers for sponsoring the bill.
"On behalf of the millions of health care workers across the country who will now have greater access to and support for mental health care, we sincerely thank you for championing HR 1667, the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act, and your steadfast leadership to ensure its passage," the groups wrote.
The coalition said the COVID-19 pandemic has magnified longstanding issues faced by front line health care providers and stressed there "has never been a more critical time" to address mental health.
"By passing this bipartisan and bicameral legislation, lives will be saved," they wrote.
"For decades, health care professionals have faced greater rates of mental and behavioral health conditions, suicide and burnout than other professions, while fearing the stigma and potential career repercussions of seeking care," the letter continued. "By taking action, you have fulfilled your promise to protect the wellbeing of the millions of frontline health care professionals and proven that you hear their voices."
The Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act seeks to provide health care workers with better access to education and training on preventing stress and burnout. It also enables employers to engage with their workforce on these issues and to provide greater resources and accelerate solutions.
"When we take care of our health workforce, we ensure that patients have optimal care and support and that our health care systems can thrive. Thank you once again for standing up to protect those who care for all of us," the letter concluded.
Follow all of the ADA's advocacy efforts at ADA.org/Advocacy.