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Congresswoman Jenniffer González-Colón

Representing Puerto Rico

Jenniffer González introduces legislation to increase medical access to veterans

November 29, 2018
Press Release
The bill seeks to make medical education accessible to Hispanic veteran students
Washington, DC-  Jenniffer González Colón introduced a bill, which expands the Veterans Healing Veterans scholarship program aimed at veterans seeking medical studies.
"Continuing to advocate for better services and benefits for our veterans has always been one of my priorities. This bill has two main objectives: to facilitate assistance to Hispanic veterans who are interested in a medical career and to help the Department of Veterans Affairs with the retention of health professionals in medical facilities. Veterans have contributed so much to our country and security that they should receive access to these benefits, "added González Colón.
Section 304 of MISSION ACT established the pilot scholarship program for veterans interested in studying medicine, provides funds for such education and encourages the retention of providers in medical facilities of the Veterans Department health system.
This bill seeks to expand the scholarship program by including medical students in predominantly Hispanic-Serving medical schools including: The University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine, Universidad Central del Caribe School of Medicine, San Juan Bautista School of Medicine, Ponce Health Sciences University, and the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio.
Participating veterans will receive funding that covers (1) tuition costs for 4 years, (2) books, fees and technical equipment, (3) fees associated with the National Residency Match Program, (4) 2 two away rotations during their fourth year at a Veterans medical facility, and (5) a monthly stipend for the 4-year period of enrollment in an amount determined by the Secretary of the Department of Veterans. 
Participating medical schools would reserve two seats for eligible veterans who will receive funding under the program.  
Each veteran who participates and accepts funding agrees to maintain enrollment and attendance, maintain an acceptable academic standing as established by the medical school while enrolled, and completes post-graduate training leading to eligibility for board certification in a specialty applicable to the VA as determined by the Secretary.
 After completion, the veteran must obtain a license to practice medicine in a State and serve as a full-time clinician in the Veterans Health Administration for a period of 4 years.