Sen. Doug Jones, D-Alabama, received the National Rural Health Association’s 2019 Rural Health Champion Award from HRHA President Tim Putnam. He was given the award at this year’s Rural Health Policy Institute, which attracts health professionals and advocates from around the country to discuss priorities for the rural health advocacy community.
Deputy Legislative Director Katie Campbell is Jones’ senior health policy advisor and was also recognized by the NRHA for her involvement in advancing rural health policy.
“People living in rural areas often face tremendous difficulties finding health care providers in their own communities,” Jones said. “The challenge of consistent, quality health care for rural America is exponentially more difficult than in other areas of the country. These persistent gaps in access to care unsurprisingly lead to very poor health outcomes. I’m proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish on this issue in a bipartisan way over the past year, but there are many more steps we can take to shore up our rural health system, like finally expanding Medicaid in Alabama.”
Jones is a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
He invited Farrell Turner, president of the Alabama Rural Health Association to be his guest to the State of the Union Address on Tuesday.
“It is an honor to welcome Farrell Turner to be my guest at the State of the Union this evening,” Jones said. “Through his leadership role at the Alabama Rural Health Association, he represents more than 600 rural hospitals, clinics, community health centers, and providers in Alabama who are dedicated to improving health outcomes in our rural communities. They have faced serious challenges in recent years, but their commitment to their mission has never wavered.”
During his time in time in office, Jones has focused on ways to improve accessible and affordable health care in rural areas.
Jones’ first piece of original legislation, the Rural Health Liaison Act, aims to improve coordination of federal resources and health care access for Americans living in rural areas. It was signed into law in December.