Bustos Meets First-Ever Rural Health Liaison

Rural Health Liaison Position Created by Bustos as part of 2018 Bipartisan Legislation

Washington – Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) met with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) first-ever Rural Health Liaison, Betty-Ann Bryce, in her Washington, D.C. office. Last month, the USDA announced that Bryce would fill the Rural Health Liaison position, which was created by Congresswoman Bustos in the 2018 Farm Bill.

“It was a pleasure to meet with Betty-Ann Bryce today to discuss our shared vision for the Rural Health Liaison position at USDA,” said Congresswoman Bustos. “Together, we can work to address the unique health care challenges rural areas face to ensure small towns everywhere have access to 21st Century care. That’s why I was proud to pass bipartisan legislation to create this position. I look forward to being a partner to Betty-Ann Bryce and following her work as she puts this position into action.”

You can view photos from the meeting here.

BACKGROUND

Congresswoman Bustos introduced the bipartisan Rural Health Liaison Act in 2018, with co-sponsor Congressman Doug LaMalfa (CA-1). The legislation created a new rural health liaison position at the USDA to:

  • improve coordination and funding mechanisms in the delivery of health care to rural America.
  • spread best practices in health care and the battle against opioid addiction throughout small towns.
  • promote awareness and availability of USDA resources to help finance the construction of hospitals and telehealth and health education programs.
  • coordinate with other government agencies on rural health issues.

As a member of the House Agriculture Committee, Congresswoman Bustos led the charge for language creating the position to be included in the 2018 Farm Bill. As a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, Congresswoman Bustos included language in the fiscal year 2020 funding bills to ensure the position was filled at the start of 2020 and required the Department of Health and Human Services to coordinate with the liaison.

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