On March 22, 2017, bipartisan legislation (H.R. 1676/S. 693) was re-introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate to support and expand the palliative care and hospice workforce. U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) is a co-sponsor of the bill in the Senate. The Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA) will support:
- The creation of Palliative Care and Hospice Education Centers to improve training and support workforce development;
- Training and career incentives for physicians, nurses, social workers, and other allied health professionals;
- Enhanced palliative care research through the National Institutes of Health (NIH); and
- A national education and awareness campaign aimed at health professionals and the public.
Palliative care focuses on preventing and relieving suffering, and improving the quality of life of people with serious illnesses like cancer and their families. Increasing access to palliative care for all cancer patients is a strategy within Priority 9 of the WI Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan 2015-2020. The WI CCC Plan 2015-2020 also recognizes the workforce development issues addressed by PCHETA as a cross cutting issue.
PCHETA has strong bipartisan support and is supported by more than 40 organizations, including the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) and the Palliative Care Network of Wisconsin (PCNOW).