(Olivia MN-) Senator Andrew Lang of Olivia Monday presented legislation that seeks to increase funding for the Comprehensive Advanced Life Support program. Current funding for this program is $408,000 per year. With this legislation, funding would increase by $100,000 per year.

Comprehensive Advanced Life Support (CALS) is a Minnesota-based nonprofit organization that provides education for doctors, advanced practitioners, nurses, and paramedics working in rural, remote, and global emergency departments. In recent years, the program has been called upon to provide more advanced education for nurse practitioners and physicians assistants, as well as to provide support for telemedicine. Certain educational needs have become evident through the COVID-19 pandemic, and an increase in funding would ensure CALS is able to meet the needs of rural hospital and practices.

“This bill raises funding for a well-deserving group of individuals serving the communities of greater Minnesota,” said Senator Lang. “Living in rural Minnesota, I’ve seen smaller entities struggle to have the manpower, let alone have highly trained individuals. It’s been a challenge over the last few years, and the issue has been further exacerbated since the pandemic. This funding is absolutely necessary for CALS to continue providing resources and education to our rural practitioners.”

SF-642 was laid over in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.