Sending Office: Honorable Tulsi Gabbard
Sent By:

Current Signers: Gabbard, Hanabusa, Jackson Lee, O’Halleran, Clarke, Payne, Barragán, Beatty, Jayapal, Brown, Carson, Cohen, Espaillat, Langevin, Peters, Moore 


Dear Colleague:

We encourage you to join us in signing the letter below urging appropriators to include no less than $15 million for the Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP) in the fiscal year (FY) 2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHSED) appropriations
bill. As you may know, the LHHSED appropriations bill terminates this program for FY19.

HCOP grants are essential to prepare the next generation of health professionals for the rapidly changing and emerging needs of the growing and aging American population, particularly in rural and underserved communities, and have been awarded all over the
country.  In 2017, the following states where awarded funding from this program: AZ, CA, DC, GA, HI, IL, IN, MD, NJ, NY, OH, TX, WA, and WI.  More funding information can be found via this link.

At a time when our communities are suffering from a shortage of medical professionals, support for this program is critical so we can continue improving the distribution, quality, and diversity of the health professions workforce. 

If you have any questions, please contact Patrick Koetzle with Rep. Gabbard ( or Elizabeth Songvilay with Rep. Hanabusa (

Last call for signatures. 




Tulsi Gabbard

Member of Congress


Colleen Hanabusa 

Member of Congress



Letter text:

Dear Chairman Frelinghuysen, Ranking Member Lowey, Chairman Cole, and Ranking Member DeLauro,

We thank you for funding several vital programs that support the nation’s health care workforce in the fiscal year (FY) 2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHSED) appropriations bill. These programs provide direct financial support for
health care workforce training and development.

While the LHHSED bill increases funding for several Title VII programs, we write to express our concern with the LHHSED subcommittee’s decision to terminate funding for the Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP) and request that HCOP receive funding of
no less than $15 million for FY19. At a time when the country is facing unprecedented provider shortages, a rapidly growing and aging population, and widespread chronic diseases, it is necessary to continue our strong commitment to programs that advance our
health care workforce, especially in rural and underserved communities.

HCOP is a vital education and training program that guides current and aspiring health professionals to high-demand health care careers. Its purpose is to improve health care outcomes, reduce provider shortages, increase diversity in our health care workforce,
and decrease health disparities in minority and underserved communities. It accomplishes these goals by supporting initiatives that aim to increase opportunities for underrepresented individuals to enter and successfully complete a health professions academic

HCOP ensures diversity in our nation’s health professions workforce, which results in high quality, culturally competent care within underserved communities. For example, for over 25 years, HCOP has recruited and supported thousands of minority students
to become doctors and other health professionals who largely practice in underserved minority areas. Minority health professionals generally possess cultural, experiential, and linguistic skills needed to provide cost-effective health care to minority, shortage
area communities, and evidence shows that health professionals often use their education to help those with similar backgrounds.

HCOP guarantees that the distribution, quality, and diversity of our nation’s health professions workforce will continue to grow and improve and that the workforce is prepared to meet the country’s evolving and emerging health care needs.  Unless HCOP funding
is maintained, experts in this field estimate that, within a few years, the number of minority students admitted to health professional schools will drop by 25%, which translates into several thousands of persons with less access to culturally skilled physicians
in the coming decades.

We respectfully urge you to make the nation’s next generation of health professionals a priority with a strong investment in HCOP in the FY 2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bill. We greatly appreciate your consideration
of this request.



Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Appropriations, Education, Family Issues, HealthCare, Labor

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