Making Health Care Work for American Families

Improving Access to Care

Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., M.B.A., RWJF president and CEO, told the committee that expanding access to health care "must be a priority as Congress considers opportunities for health reform this year," but noted that "expanding coverage alone will not be sufficient." She urged Congress to "put the patient at the center of the relationship" to enable the nation to deliver access to high-quality care and preventive services for all American families.

"Critical to implementing these transformations are our nation’s nurses," Lavizzo-Mourey testified. Yet, "our nation faces a critical shortage of nurses and nurse faculty….Ultimately, a three-pronged strategy—to address the faculty shortage, increase the pipeline of new nurses and retain experienced nurses—is what it will take to solve the nursing shortage."