- Health Resources and Services Administration
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency within the
United States Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary Federal agency for improving access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated, or medically vulnerable. According to HRSA, the agency "envisions optimal health for all, supported by a health care systemthat assures access to comprehensive, culturally competent, quality care." [ [http://www.hrsa.gov/about/default.htm HRSA - About HRSA ] ] Headquartered in the Washington, D.C.metro area, HRSA has 10 regional offices and employs approximately 1,600 people. Its current administrator is Dr. Elizabeth Duke.
The agency lists seven goals: [ [http://www.hrsa.gov/about/default.htm HRSA - About HRSA ] ]
*Improve Access to Health Care.
*Improve Health Outcomes.
*Improve the Quality of Health Care.
*Eliminate Health Disparities.
*Improve the Public Health and Health Care Systems.
*Enhance the Ability of the Health Care System to Respond to Public Health Emergencies.
*Achieve Excellence in Management Practices
• HRSA programs reach into every corner of America, providing direct health care services for 20 million people each year. HRSA uses its $6.4 billion budget (Fiscal Year 2007) to serve as America’s health care safety net.
• HRSA’s bureaus and offices provide leadership and financial support to health care providers in every state and U.S. territory. HRSA grantees offer health care to uninsured people, people living with
HIV/AIDS, and pregnant women, mothers and children. They train health professionals and improve systems of care in rural communities.
• HRSA oversees organ, tissue and blood cell (bone marrow and cord blood) donation. HRSA also maintains databases that protect the public against health care malpractice, and compensates individuals harmed by vaccinations.
Primary Health Care
HRSA manages the national health center network, which consists of about 1,000 grantees that operate community, migrant, homeless and public housing health centers. The grantees deliver quality primary and preventive health care to over 15 million people in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the Pacific Basin.
Health centers are community-based and consumer-run organizations that serve populations that traditionally have had limited access to health care. These include individuals who are low income, the uninsured, those with limited English language proficiency, and persons living with
HRSA administers the
Ryan White HIV/AIDSProgram which funds primary health care, support services and life-saving medications for more than 530,000 low-income, uninsured and underinsured people living with HIV/AIDS.
While ambulatory health care and support services are the primary focus of the
Ryan White HIV/AIDSProgram, training, technical assistance, and demonstration projects are also funded. Services are intended to reduce the use of more costly inpatient care, increase access to care for underserved populations, and improve the quality of life for those affected by the epidemic.
Clinician Recruitment and Service
HRSA strives to have a health workforce that is diverse, well-trained, and widely dispersed throughout the Nation. HRSA administers programs in which individuals apply for scholarships or loan repayments in primary care training in exchange for service in medically underserved areas.
HRSA provides scholarships and loan repayment awards directly to health professions students and clinicians who agree to practice their discipline in an underserved area through the
National Health Service Corps, Nursing Scholarship Program, Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program, Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program, and Faculty Loan Repayment Program.
In many areas, health care professionals are in short supply. HRSA helps train physicians, dentists, nurses and other providers and places them where they are needed most. HRSA provides grants to institutions to ensure an appropriate knowledge base for development of health professions and their professional enhancement and continuing education. These funds also support students and faculty in programs designed to increase the number of nurses, pediatricians, and primary care providers.
Maternal and Child Health
HRSA administers a broad range of programs that address the needs of the Nation’s Maternal and Child Health population. This population includes pregnant women, mothers, infants, children and their families, and children with special health care needs. The largest of the programs, the Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant to the States, creates Federal-state partnerships to develop service systems in our Nation’s communities to meet the critical challenges facing maternal and child health. HRSA’s other programs designed to improve the health of the Nation’s women and children are the Healthy Start Program, Universal Newborn Hearing Screening, Traumatic Brain Injury, Sickle Cell Service Demonstrations, Family to Family Health Information Centers, and Emergency Medical Services for Children.
HRSA oversees the Nation’s transplant systems and compensates families of children harmed by vaccines. HRSA manages the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network and the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients in addition to promoting national awareness of the critical need for organ and tissue donation. HRSA also oversees the National Marrow Donor Program. HRSA also provides staff and logistic support to the Advisory Committee on Organ Transplantation, which provides recommendations to the HHS Secretary on issues concerning organ donation and transplantation.
HRSA’s rural health programs improve access to scarce health care for the 59 million people who live in rural areas. HRSA strengthens small rural hospitals and clinics by promoting cost-saving networks among providers. The agency also supports research on critical issues faced by rural communities seeking to improve health care services.
Other rural-based programs fund health screenings for individuals exposed to radiation from uranium mining or nuclear weapons tests and for coal miners and others with job-related lung disease. Additionally, HRSA invests in initiatives to improve the health of residents in the largely rural area near the U.S. border with Mexico.
* [http://www.hrsa.gov Official website]
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