Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik led her colleagues in calling on the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) to expand opportunity to recruit doctors to rural NY-21 in the midst of a physician staffing shortage.
Specifically, Stefanik requested the NBRC implement a J-1 visa waiver program that would allow nondomestic physicians trained in the U.S. to work in health professional shortage areas or medically underserved areas within the NBRC’s area of jurisdiction.
“As the NBRC continues to strategically plan to meet the evolving needs of our Northern Border communities, we urge you to develop and administer programs to address staffing shortages of medical professionals in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York. As you know, our communities are currently facing significant challenges in the recruitment and retention of qualified physicians and healthcare personnel,” Stefanik wrote.
“To address these workforce challenges, the NBRC should use its existing authority to implement a J-1 visa waiver program for U.S.-trained physicians. This would allow nondomestic physicians trained in the United States to work in health professional shortage areas or medically underserved areas for three years. These physicians will provide critical medical services in rural areas of our states currently suffering from physician staffing shortages,” Stefanik continued.
In the letter, Stefanik points out that this has been helpful to addressing physician shortages in rural communities across the country, including in the Delta Regional Authority and Appalachian Regional Commission’s areas of jurisdiction.
The NRBC includes Jefferson, St. Lawrence, Franklin, Clinton, Essex, Hamilton, Herkimer, Fulton, Warren, Saratoga, Washington, Oneida, Montgomery, Rensselaer, and Oswego Counties.
Established in 2008, the NBRC is a federal-state partnership for economic and community development in New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, and New York. Rural regions in these states have benefitted from NBRC investments that have helped to develop public infrastructure, promote tourism, assist in job training activities, and promote the use of renewable energy sources in communities that have historically struggled to attract public and private investment.
Read the full letter here.