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THA Honors 12 Legislators for Contributions to Health Care
Date:7/21/2009

AUSTIN, Texas, July 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Texas Hospital Association is honoring 12 of Texas' 181 state legislators with the Texas Hospital Advocacy Tribute award in recognition of their accomplishments related to health care during the 81st Regular Session of the Texas Legislature.

"These 12 lawmakers distinguished themselves as true heroes for health care. Through their hard work and dedication, Texas made significant strides in expanding health care coverage, addressing workforce shortages, and improving quality and patient safety," said THA President/CEO Dan Stultz, M.D., FACP, FACHE.

Recipients recognized by THA serving in the Texas Senate include Sen. Kip Averitt (R-Waco), Sen. Robert Duncan (R-Lubbock), Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa (D-Mission) and Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound).

Texas House members receiving the award include Rep. Garnet Coleman (D-Houston), Rep. Dawnna Dukes (D-Austin), Rep. Craig Eiland (D-Galveston), Rep. Susan King (R-Abilene), Rep. Donna Howard (D-Austin), Rep. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham), Rep. Jim Pitts (R-Waxahachie) and Rep. John Zerwas, M.D. (R-Richmond).

The Texas Hospital Association created the Texas Hospital Advocacy Tribute award in 1997 to honor state legislators and other public officials who demonstrate outstanding leadership on issues important to hospitals and health systems.

Stultz commended the award recipients for their contributions on a number of key health care achievements, including:

  • Small businesses and low-income individuals now will be able to find more affordable health insurance coverage through a new reinsurance program and the high-risk pool;
  • Texas nursing schools can enroll more students, graduating more registered nurses to effectively address the state's nursing shortage;
  • Funding was increased for community mental health crisis services and the statewide trauma system;
  • Consumers will have access to more information, as hospitals will be required to report certain adverse events and the cause of certain infections; and
  • The state's Medicaid program was given the financial resources to support increases in caseload and utilization for 2010-11 thanks to legislators' decision to use federal stimulus funds.

"These are landmark successes for Texas' health care system, and the legislators who pressed for these policies deserve special recognition," said Stultz.

About the Texas Hospital Association
Founded in 1930, the Texas Hospital Association is the leadership organization and principal advocate for the state's hospitals and health care systems. Based in Austin, THA enhances its members' abilities to improve accessibility, quality and cost-effectiveness of health care for all Texans. One of the largest hospital associations in the country, THA represents more than 85 percent of the state's acute-care hospitals and health care systems, which employ some 355,000 health care professionals statewide. On the Web: www.tha.org

    CONTACT:
    Ann Ward, APR
    512/465-1050


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SOURCE Texas Hospital Association
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