Government Affairs

About NHMA Government Affairs

NHMA was established by a core group of Hispanic physician leaders who met in 1993 at the White House during the Health Care Reform Task Force meetings of President Bill Clinton.  From the beginning of the establishment of NHMA, we have served as a unique resource for the White House, the Congress and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

In 1995, NHMA convened a Retreat with Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) officials to recommend improvements to Federal programs that recruit Hispanic students and faculty to medical education. In 1995-96, NHMA convened five Regional Meetings to discuss the priorities for policy development from the greater health community in Hispanic key areas that were presented to HRSA. In 1997, NHMA established its Annual Conference on Hispanic Health to share model programs and strategies to Washington, DC.  In 1998, NHMA was awarded a Cooperative Agreement to develop national physician leadership and cultural competence efforts from the Office of Minority Health.

NHMA has advocated developing and enhancing Federal and key State health care programs and policies that impact the health care and mental health care delivery systems, prevention programs, medical education, and research and reduce health disparities for Hispanic populations’ health.

In 2002, NHMA convened the First National Hispanic Health Summit with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the HHS, supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. In 2007-2008, NHMA convened the National Hispanic Health Disparities Leadership Summit Series with HHS on Access to Health Care, Obesity and Diabetes Prevention, and Diversity in the Health Professions with key stakeholders invited to develop recommendations by consensus. The Final Report was presented in 2008 to the Health Policy Advisors of presidential campaigns at our Annual Conference, to Senator Kennedy’s health care reform team, and to President Obama’s Transition Team and several of the recommendations were incorporated in the Affordable Care Act.

NHMA President and CEO and government affairs staff have regular meetings with the White House, Congress and Federal agencies representatives on the implementation of the ACA and the improvement of health policies to be more relevant to Hispanic health.

2020 Policy Priorities:

We welcome you to learn about our efforts with government affairs, including our Hispanic Health Congressional Briefings, testimony to Congressional hearings, presentations to policy forums, and participation in national health advocacy coalitions. Our mission is to improve the health of all Americans. Contact our office if we can be of help in your advocacy efforts.

In 2019, NHMA held two Congressional briefings: in June on cardiovascular disease and Hispanics and in July on health care workforce diversity.  NHMA also visited state capitals in California, Florida, New York, and Texas. NHMA member physicians visited Capitol Hill in April to discuss cardiovascular health and health disparities in Hispanics.

In Spring 2020, NHMA has focused its advocacy on Covid-19 -with its sister organizations – the National Hispanic Health Professional Leadership Network (HHPLN) and the NHMA Council of Medical Societies as well as with our Members, Chapters and interest groups.  NHMA has sent letters to HHS and to Congress about our policy recommendations to improve health of Latinos. We have met with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Key Congressmen and Senators on Appropriations Committees, and Key State Senate offices who represent major numbers of Latino populations. We ask you to contact your Senator and Congressman to echo our concerns – that Latinos need more funding for culturally competent small practices and clinics, community hospitals, as well as small businesses and individual relief with jobs and Spanish information, and healthcare career leadership and diversity, mentoring and research.

NHMA continues its work to improve the health of Hispanics. NHMA has submitted comments on chronic diseases – heart disease, HIV, diabetes and obesity, vaping and more.  NHMA has also met with members from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, House Ways and Means Committee, House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.  NHMA also joined the Alliance of Minority Physicians with other four minority medical organizations: Association of American Indian Physicians (AAIP), Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC), National Council of Asian and Pacific Islander Physicians (NCAPIP), and the National Medical Association (NMA).

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