(From L to R: Amanda Richards, Austin Vaughan, Senator Collins, Dr. Joel Kase, and his daughter)
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins met with Maine members of the American Osteopathic Association, including Amanda Richards, Executive Director of the Maine Osteopathic Association; Joel Kase DO, MPH; and Austin Vaughan, a student at the University of New England’s College of Osteopathic Medicine (UNE COM).
“I enjoyed meeting with Maine members of the American Osteopathic Association to discuss the need to make COVID-19 telehealth flexibilities permanent, which will allow patients to continue to safely connect with their doctors. We also spoke about the importance of training the next generation of doctors and nurses – particularly in rural areas – to increase access to care,” said Senator Collins, a member of the Senate Health Committee. “Our state is grateful for all they do to keep our communities healthy.”
Earlier this year, Senator Collins secured $5 million for UNE’s Institute for Interprofessional Education and Practice. This funding will support construction of the new Harold and Bibby Alfond Center for Health Sciences on the Portland Campus, a pivotal step in relocating UNE COM from Biddeford to Portland. This move will allow UNE to admit more students to the school and bring together all of the University’s health professions programs onto a single, interprofessional campus.
Last year, the Senate passed the Medicare Sequester Relief Act, bipartisan legislation Senator Collins introduced that would prevent substantial payment cuts to Medicare payments to health care providers from taking effect during the COVID-19 public health emergency. In addition, Senator Collins is a co-sponsor of a bipartisan bill that would expand coverage of telehealth services through Medicare, make permanent COVID-19 telehealth flexibilities, improve health outcomes, and make it easier for patients to safely connect with their doctors. Further, Senator Collins is a co-sponsor of a bipartisan bill to address the shortage of medical professionals.