URGENT: Call or write to your state Senators and ask them to co-sponsor and support Senate Bill 1871 VA Provider Equity Act to ensure the podiatry profession continues on its path to parity. 

Why does this matter to you?  

1.  Currently VA podiatrists are in an outdated pay scale (over 40+ years) despite performing similar tasks and responsibilities as MD and DO physicians in the VA.  The passage of the bill will place VA podiatrists into the VA Physicians Pay Band.  Currently the Physicians pay band contains MD, DO and dentists....yes dentists.  By significantly altering the podiatrists pay (equitable with their allopathic colleagues), improved recruitment and retention of qualified podiatrists and a higher percentage of board certified podiatrists (ABPM & ABFAS) will have a significantly positive effect on the care and treatment of our nation's veterans. 

2.   Podiatry will then be removed from the VA category of Allied Health and enter into the VA physician category.   Other Federal agencies will likely follow suit, as podiatrists in the U.S. Armed Forces, (Air Force, Army, Navy) may move from the Medical Service Corp to the Medical Corp (with MD, DO physicians) where salary increases and promotions will then be available.  Indian Health and Public Health Services will also follow suit.

3.  Podiatry will then be on track for the day by day journey toward parity with other allopathic specialties.   In addition to all practicing podiatrists, this one factor alone is extremely important to every podiatry student and resident.   Our profession is on the brink of momentous and significant change in this regard.  It falls upon ALL of us, therefore, to contact our Senators and request their support for Senate bill  S-1871,  or this effort will fail.

If you call your Senator's offices, please use the following talking points:

1. VA wait times for podiatry services are among the worst for any VA provider specialty.  This places Veterans with acute needs at risk for morbid consequences. 

2. VA has enormous difficulty recruiting experienced providers and retaining the quality providers it does have.

3. The current antiquated law is 41 years old.  This law needs to be changed in order to provide Veterans access to the care they deserve by allowing the VA to attract and retain experienced providers. 

If you wish to help support this bill, please utilize the APMA e-advocacy site at www.apmaeadvocacy.org. APMA has made this very easy with templated letters for easy use and delivery. 

  • Comments (3)
  • If anyone decides to support Dr. Al for senate , contact Dr. Barrasso that you are and tell him that you would appreciate it if he support our V.A. Bill.I ran against senator Barrasso on 1996 , but he lost to Mike Enzi in the primary. I ran as a libertarian twice for office in Wyoming. In Wyoming the libertarian party has been elevated to major party status in several election cycles because of the percentage of votes we received in state wide elections I have been on the Board of Podiatry examiners in Wyoming about 20 wears ago.

    W. David Herbert DPM,J.D.

  • There is an orthopedic surgeon named Al Olszewski, MD running for U.S. Senate as a republican here in Montana. I am supporting his campaign. His web site is www.alforsenate.us . He came over to my house for lunch a few days ago. If we support him, I know he will be a friend of podiatry. I also have known John Barrasso for over twenty years. He is an orthopedist who is a U.S. Senator from Wyoming. Emphasize that this bill puts podiatrists in the same category that dentists are now in. I have been active in politics in both states. I ran for the Montana Supreme Court in 2014 . I am an attorney in Montana and a podiatrist in Wyoming. We have benefitted by having a podiatrist in congress. Please contact Dr. Al at his web site and tell him your concerns. Al is also a military veteran of the USAF and I flew in combat in the USAF in Vietnam. Montana has a very large number of veterans which also helps anyone seeking office here.

    W. David Herbert DPM,JD

  • For the record, this is a very important bill for podiatry, and the APMA advocacy site makes it very easy to send an effective letter to your senators and congressmen.  I use it all the time...don't think you need to compose a wordy piece.  It's all there for you, boiler plated and ready to send.