Sen. Ossoff Leads Call to Rename Public Health Workforce Program in Honor of Late Congressman John Lewis

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff is working to honor the late Congressman John Lewis and his work to promote health equity.

Sen. Ossoff led the entire Georgia Democratic Congressional Delegation and members of the Congressional Black Caucus in calling on Congressional leadership to rename the CDC Undergraduate Public Health Scholars (CUPS) Program as the “John R. Lewis CDC Undergraduate Public Health Scholars Program” and boost funding for the program.

The program provides internships for eligible undergraduate and graduate students to promote greater diversity and equity in the public health workforce.

“Our dear friend and former colleague, Congressman Lewis, was an American hero, civil rights icon, and revered citizen of Georgia,” Sen. Ossoff and the members wrote. “He was renowned for his leadership in advancing policies and funding that would help marginalized communities receive better health care.”

“Congressman Lewis was a Member of the Ways and Means Committee Subcommittee on Health. He was committed to health equity. He took every opportunity to promote diversity in health and related educational programs. He was determined that the healthcare professions be more reflective of the diverse communities they serve. This recognition is especially meaningful,” said Linda Earley Chastang, President & CEO of the John and Lillian Miles Lewis Foundation.

The members urged inclusion of increased funding necessary to extend the program to more students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities in Georgia and across the country.

“By increasing funding, the CUPS program can expand to 250 students per year and increase the number of participating grantees, including expanding work with HBCUs and Tribal Institutes,” Sen. Ossoff and the members continued.

The letter was signed by Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) and Representatives Nikema Williams (D-GA-05), Lucy McBath (D-GA-06), Hank Johnson (D-GA-04), Sanford Bishop (D-GA-02), David Scott (D-GA-13), Carolyn Bourdeaux (D-GA-07), Terri Sewell (D-AL-07), Alma Adams (D-NC-12), G.K. Butterfield (D-NC-01), Bobby Rush (D-IL-01), Barbara Lee (D-CA-13), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Gwen Moore (D-WI-04), and Jahana Hayes (D-CT-05).

Sen. Ossoff continues to honor the life and legacy of his mentor, Congressman Lewis.

Last month, he joined his colleagues in introducing the historic John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021, legislation named in honor of the late Congressman who put his life on the line to secure voting rights for all Americans.

Sen. Ossoff also recently urged the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee to recommend approval of a stamp highlighting the late Congressman’s legacy as a leader and champion for civil and human rights.

Click here to read the full letter.

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