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Congressman Krishnamoorthi Hosts Forum With Frontline Nurses and Doctors On Funding He Helped Secure For Health Care Worker Mental Health In The American Rescue Plan

May 24, 2021
Press Release
The Funding For These Programs Secured In The American Rescue Plan Will Be Made Available Later This Year

HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL – Today, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08) held a forum with frontline nurses, doctors, and leadership from AMITA Health to discuss the funding he secured in President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan (ARP) to establish health care worker mental health support, training, and awareness programs. The ARP provisions Congressman Krishnamoorthi championed on behalf of health care workers, which will provide millions in new funding over the course of the next year, were based on provisions in the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act, of which Congressman Krishnamoorthi is a House co-lead.

“As a husband of a health care worker who spent countless hours working on the front lines during the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m acutely aware of how this past year and half took a mental toll on so many of our healthcare professionals,” said Congressman Krishnamoorthi. “The provisions we secured in the American Rescue Plan will ensure that those who put themselves in harm’s way for our health and safety are now taken care of as we come out the pandemic. It was an honor to share this moment with frontline nurses and doctors here in my district.”

“This pandemic relentlessly threw sickness, death, anxiety, stress and helplessness at emergency nurses. The pandemic put them in the spotlight of heroes, and deservedly so, but we are hurting,” said ENA President Ron Kraus, MSN, RN, EMT, CEN, ACNS-BS, TCRN.  “Today’s conversation on mental health and the Breen Act itself are positive steps that build momentum toward eliminating stigmas, providing help to those in need and, ultimately caring for the caregivers who have given so much in the last year.”

“We are thankful Congressman Krishnamoorthi called us together to learn more about this topic and all we’ve done to help our frontline associates,” said Keith Hill, administrative director of Critical Care and Emergency Services at AMITA Health St. Alexius Medical Center Hoffman Estates. “This has been a difficult year for all of us, but it’s been especially hard on healthcare workers. We appreciate the congressman’s concern in getting us the care we need.”

“As a public health doctor, teacher, and partner of a family physician on the frontlines of the pandemic, I have seen the anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress caused by the pandemic firsthand," said Dr. Kiran Joshi, Senior Medical Officer and Co-Lead at Cook County Department of Public Health. "Provider burnout and behavioral and mental health issues among providers predate the pandemic. The American Rescue Plan provisions championed by Congressman Krishnamoorthi will go a long way towards protecting the providers who have protected us during this pandemic.”