Washington, D.C. — Today, Jim Shmerling, president and CEO of Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, called on Congress to continue providing strong support for the Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education program
(CHGME) to help fund training for the next generation of pediatricians. Testifying before the House Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee, Shmerling, on behalf of Connecticut Children’s and the Children’s Hospital Association, urged Congress to provide $300 million in funding for the program in FY 2018.
CHGME provides funding to independent children’s hospitals to support the training of approximately half of all pediatricians and pediatric specialists in the United States — more than 7,000 annually. Full funding of $300 million annually for the program will help children’s hospitals maintain and expand vital training programs and protect gains in pediatric health and access to care for children nationwide.
The CHGME program benefits all children, supporting the training of doctors who go on to care for children living in every state — in cities, rural communities, suburbs and everywhere in between. Strong CHGME funding is critical to the ability of children’s hospitals to train enough providers to keep up with demand at regional and national levels.
“Strengthening funding for CHGME will help all children and their families,” said Shmerling. “Now is the time to take a step forward in pediatric medicine, and ensure our children have access to the health care services they need.”
Since the program’s beginnings in 1999, CHGME has enjoyed strong, bipartisan support in Congress, under both Republican and Democratic leadership. The House and Senate Appropriations Committees will recommend funding levels for CHGME and other discretionary programs over the coming weeks as part of the FY 2018 appropriations process.