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WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, announced $1,000,000 for Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond to educate and train the primary care and supportive care workforces to provide age-friendly and dementia-friendly care to older Americans. The funding, made possible by the Fiscal Year 2024 government funding bill that Warner and Kaine helped pass, was awarded through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)’s Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP). The program was made permanent as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which Warner and Kaine voted to pass.

“All Americans deserve to age with dignity, and we should make it easier for older adults to get the care they need in their communities,” said the senators. “We’re glad this funding is headed to VCU to train more health care professionals to provide care to older Americans and address health care workforce shortages.”

Warner and Kaine have long worked to expand access to care for older Americans. As a member of the Senate HELP Committee, Kaine is working to reauthorize the Older Americans Act (OAA), which provides nutritional services, family caregiver support, long-term care programs, and other services to older Americans. In March, he introduced two witnesses from Virginia during a HELP Committee hearing on the OAA. Kaine has also introduced legislation to revitalize the long-term care workforce. As co-chair of the Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer's Disease, Warner led efforts to introduce and pass the National Alzheimer’s Project to treat and prevent the disease. Kaine’s bipartisan BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Reauthorization Actlegislation to reauthorize funding for public health initiatives across the country to combat Alzheimer’s disease and preserve brain health, passed out of the Senate HELP Committee last month.