By Joshua Riggs
AUSN recently signed onto a letter from The Military Coalition urging the restoration of $10 million to operations and maintenance budget for the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, as well as $14.2 million in research and development funding.
The letter was submitted earlier this month to the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the Senate and House Armed Services Committees, as well as the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the Defense Subcommittees of the Senate and House Appropriations Committees. The letter implores the Committees to support the language used in the Senate National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to restore the funding.
The cuts came about as part of a Defense Wide Review by Defense Secretary Mark Esper. The DWR was initiatied to reallocate funding to National Defense Strategy priorities from other areas within the Pentagon’s budget.
USUHS was hit hard by Defense Wide Review cuts. A well-funded USU system is crucial to maintaining a world-class university that attracts world-class faculty and students. Additionally, USU graduates totaled more than the next 20 Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) schools combined. This statistic is even more impressive when considering that the DoD has been unable to fill the HPSP slots in recent years.
The impact that USUs have on military medicine can not be understated. USU graduates are deployed more than 250% longer than and serve on active duty an average of six years longer than other HPSP counterparts. USU graduates also have higher representation in Special Operations units. Not limited to providing support to service members during wartime, USU graduates also provide beneficiary care for retirees, family members, and survivors.
If the DWR based cuts are not rectified, then critical programs that contribute to USU’s leadership role in military medicine and address needs specific to the military community face elimination or crippling financial cuts.
AUSN stands with our servicemembers and is proud to join The Military Coalition in their efforts to defend and protect the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, its graduates, and the entire military medical community for all that they do in their role within the greatest military in the world.