(Washington, D.C.) The Critical Access Hospitals of Washington State awarded Congresswoman Cathy McMorris with a plaque this week for her work to improve access to rural health care. She was honored at the Northwest Regional Critical Access Hospital Conference in Spokane by Andrew Craigie, President, Association of Washington Public Hospitals; Charlotte Hardt, Director, Eastern Washington Area Health Education Center; and Tom Martin, Administrator, Lincoln County Public Health District 3.
The plaque awarded to McMorris reads: "In grateful recognition and with the greatest appreciation for her extraordinary efforts to ensure the residents of rural Washington have access to high quality medical care, The Critical Access Hospitals in Washington State offer their most sincere thanks and strongest statement of support to the United State Representative Cathy McMorris."
"In the state legislature, and now in Congress, access to quality, affordable health care continues to be one of my top priorities," said McMorris. "I will continue to strengthen health care delivery in rural areas and ensure adequate funding for essential rural health programs. I oppose the proposed elimination of funding for Title VII, Title VIII and Rural Health funding, which provides Rural Health Flexibility Grants, Area Health Education Centers and numerous other rural health initiatives. These grants have demonstrated an essential link between Critical Access Hospitals and providers, increasing quality of care, and producing collaboration for these safety net hospitals within our communities."
During her first term in Congress, McMorris has supported legislation that will increase access to quality, affordable health care for rural areas:
Introduced legislation to protect the rural health training program known as WWAMI (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho) which effectively addresses the shortage of health care professionals in rural areas.
Sponsored the Medicaid Access Project through Information Technology Act (H.R. 4331) to establish demonstration projects to improve access to health care through information technology.
Sponsored the Community Pharmacy Fairness Act (H.R. 1671), which allows community pharmacies to negotiate collectively for drug reimbursements-which should reduce overall costs.
Voted for Association Health Plans that allow small business employers to band together in order to purchase health insurance at a lower cost for their employees.