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Courtney, Collins Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Address Child and Adolescent Mental Health Needs

April 16, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON—Congressmen Joe Courtney (CT-02) and Chris Collins (NY-27) today issued the following statements after introducing the bipartisan Ensuring Children’s Access to Specialty Care Act.

“Access to pediatric health services is critical for families nationwide, but many families find themselves too far from the physician specialists their children need,” said Congressman Courtney. “This proposal would help draw more pediatric doctors into specialties that treat children and adolescents with serious physical, mental and behavioral conditions, specifically in rural and underserved areas. I thank Congressman Collins for his leadership on this issue, and I look forward to working with him to advance this important legislation.”

“Mental illness impacts 1 in every 5 of America’s young people, and unfortunately, we are facing an extreme shortage of health care professionals equipped to care for these individuals,” said Congressman Collins. “To combat this problem, I joined with Congressman Courtney in introducing bipartisan legislation to create incentives for doctors to practice specialized pediatric care in underserved medical sectors like child psychiatry.”

This legislation would amend the current federal program, the National Health Service Corps (NHSC), which provides loan relief to various health care professionals, to include pediatric subspecialists. It utilizes existing funds to provide financial relief to an underserved medical service area and is cost neutral. Additionally, it is endorsed by the American Association of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry and the Child Neurology Society.

Full text of the legislation can be read here.