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Schumer Plan Would Help Bring Physicians to Upstate


A new initiative that aims to help recruit and bring more highly needed physicians to rural communities across upstate New York has been launched.

Senator Charles Schumer says the Northern Border Regional Commission’s J-1 Visa Waiver Program will help address the healthcare provider shortage in New York and beyond by easing the visa requirements for physicians who are trained in the U.S. and agree to practice in underserved areas of the Northern Border Region. He says the NBRC will recommend the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) waive their “two-year home-country physical presence requirement” for eligible physicians seeking to work at healthcare institutions and practices in New York and other states within the NBRC territory.

“This is just what the doctor ordered to help recruit more highly qualified physicians and a major step to helping address the national healthcare worker shortage we are seeing in rural communities across America and in Upstate NY. Rural communities from Penn Yan to Plattsburgh, know the struggles of healthcare worker shortages all too well. This long-awaited initiative will help provide rural and underserved areas across Upstate New York with quality, affordable healthcare by working to address ongoing physician staffing shortages,” said Senator Schumer. “I am proud to have advocated for this program and to be leading the charge to help the NBRC get the increased support it needs to continue vital programs like this. I will never stop fighting to ensure that every New York community, regardless of its size, has access to the quality medical care it needs.”

The NBRC will consider recommending a waiver on behalf of eligible J-1 physicians who will work in Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) and Medically Underserved Areas (MUAs). Eligible physicians will work in primary or mental health care for at least three years and 40 hours per week within a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services designated HPSA or MUA of the Northern Border Region. The program is modeled, in part, after the Appalachian Regional Commission’s (ARC) successful J-1 Visa waiver program.

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