Greetings, I am Former Arizona State Rep.. Lou Ann Preble: committee of Arizona rural Health Care Chairwoman I had been a State Representative since 1992. I first met Teri she was 27 in 1993. I was a registered nurse, who had the privilege to have Teri on staff.
As the Chairwoman of Rural Health Care I was tasked with issues:
“How can it be done?” “How can it be affordable?”
Teri and I Traveled throughout the state, learning about healthcare issues. Some counties weren’t equipped to even perform births. Crippled by the closing of mining and forestry, which were the major healthcare providers. Counties were closing their facilities due to lack of funding
We found that people were blindsided by lack of funds and resources
Teri knew more than I did and Teri put it all together because she had in depth conversations with key members of the healthcare community and our rural partners. I knew what we needed to do, but Teri knew how to do it.
Our work led to
Changing local district laws so that communities can create their own tax districts for medical support/services
Tele-medicine, which increased access to skilled consultants and medical professionals throughout the state
Advocated with state run medical schools to include rural rotations for licensed medical professionals in rural areas, in lieu of simply having students.
Implementing loan forgiveness programs, Oregon’s needs to expand their rural rotations and loan forgiveness to other shortages like nursing. We need more medical technicians and trained professionals beyond just the most highly educated professionals.
This bill was one of the most successful bipartisan bills in the state that year. Quickly passed through the legislature and was signed by the governor. One of the first 3 laws passed that year.
Politics wasn’t played here, we walked the middle of the road and focused on the needs for everyone in the entire state. Too many questions and needs went unanswered initially, but thanks to Teri’s hard work, we were able to make lasting and positive changes to our state’s medical treatment and funding.
Teri was also acknowledge by the Speaker of the House for her attributes that hard work and success of the bill.
The work started in a bipartisan committee, and grew to a universally accepted across the state. Real legislation, that serves the interest of the entire state, comes from bipartisanship and efforts from everyone.
I believe in Teri, and her ability to break past partisan lines. No one works harder, and she will work as hard for Oregon as she did for Arizona.