FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 18, 2022
Phone: (530) 545-9274
President Biden Signs Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation Signature Bill into Law
Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act Becomes First-Ever Bill to Address Mental Health Care Options for Medical Professionals
WASHINGTON – During a White House bill signing of the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act, The Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation for thanked President Biden for his support for the nation’s health care workforce during an Oval Office signing ceremony.
Named after Dr. Lorna Breen, a New York City emergency room physician who tragically died by suicide in Spring 2020 after treating confirmed COVID-19 patients, the legislation destigmatizes health care professionals from seeking mental health assistance. The bill passed the House and Senate with overwhelming support and is now officially law.
“President Biden, thank you for prioritizing the mental health of our nation’s health care heroes and acknowledging this serious—and until now, unspoken— issue,” said Jennifer Breen Feist, co-founder of the Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation. “We knew that Lorna’s story touched many people, but for her struggle to mean something—and be the catalyst for our nation’s first-ever mental health legislation that supports the health care community—is beyond imaginable.”
Endorsed by more than 70 organizations, including the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, the American College of Emergency Physicians, and Johnson & Johnson, the comprehensive legislation is the first of its kind to allocate specific funds towards grants for training health profession students, residents, and health care professionals in evidence-informed strategies to reduce and prevent suicide, burnout, mental health conditions, and substance use disorders.
H.R. 1667, the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act:
- Establishes grants for training health profession students, residents, or health care professionals in evidence-informed strategies to reduce and prevent suicide, burnout, mental health conditions, and substance use disorders.
- Identify and disseminate evidence-informed best practices for reducing and preventing suicide and burnout among health care professionals, training health care professionals in appropriate strategies, and promoting their mental and behavioral health and job satisfaction.
- Establishes a national evidence-based education and awareness campaign targeting health care professionals to encourage them to seek support and treatment for mental and behavioral health concerns.
- Establishes grants for employee education, peer-support programming, and mental and behavioral health treatment; health care providers in current or former COVID-19 hotspots will be prioritized.
- Establishes a comprehensive study on health care professional mental and behavioral health and burnout, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on such professionals’ health.
“We would like to thank our tireless champions in Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), Sen. Todd Young (R-IN), Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Rep. Susan Wild (D-PA), and Rep David McKinley (R-WV), for prioritizing our health care heroes’ mental health and well-being since the onset of this pandemic. Your support has impacted countless lives,” concluded Feist.
Last month, Jennifer Breen Feist and Corey Feist, co-founders of the Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation, released a video praising the bill’s passage in Congress.
Now that the bill is officially law, the Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation will continue to advocate for additional funding and education surrounding the continued barriers medical professionals face in seeking mental health help.
The Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation’s mission is to reduce burnout of health care professionals and safeguard their well-being and job satisfaction. We envision a world where seeking mental health services is universally viewed as a sign of strength for health care professionals. For more information or to contact the Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation, please visit https://drlornabreen.org/.