Indiana House Democratic Caucus

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Shackleford's first legislative session focused on health issues

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For immediate release:
May 1, 2013

 

STATEHOUSE - Freshman legislator Rep. Robin Shackleford (D-Indianapolis) focused her first session on health care matters by pushing five health-related bills to the governor’s desk.

One of her bills changes diabetes educators from a certified position to a licensed position in order to give more credibility to those healthcare professionals and educators who work to improve diabetes care.

“Diabetes is a serious healthcare concern for many Hoosiers,” she said. “We want to make sure those affected receive the proper information and care from licensed professionals. It’s important to maintain high standards when it comes to health services in Indiana. That’s why licensure is important.”

Shackleford also worked on legislation to regulate physical therapy services without a referral, and to include pharmacist services under Medicaid.

“These are solutions I think will expand healthcare options for Hoosiers,” Shackleford said.

Another of her bills establishes a process for the execution of a Physician Order for Scope of Treatment (POST) form by an individual, or the individual's representative, and the individual's treating physician. The purpose is to indicate treatment the patient would like to have or have withheld when the patient can no longer speak for themselves.

“The purpose is to improve communication between the patient and the provider so that treatment is as effective as possible,” Shackleford explained. “When there is a process for completing POST forms, health care professionals can better understand what treatment patients want to receive.”

Additionally, she passed legislation that requires the Health Finance Commission to study the coordination and efficiency of the collection, maintenance, sharing, and use of electronic health data in Indiana.

Shackleford is also the Chaplain of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus (IBLC) and has worked to ensure equality for Minority Business Enterprises and Women Business Enterprises (MBE/WBEs).

“For my first session I wanted to focus legislation on assisting MBE/WBEs and employers who hire an ex-offender,” Shackleford said. “While those ideas did not make it far this session, I am encouraging House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath and Speaker Brian Bosma to have these issues studied this summer in a study committee, and I will continue to fight for these causes next session.

“This session, I also joined in a bipartisan effort for job creation through the Indiana New Markets Job Act, which I also will advocate next session,” she continued.

This legislation would have allowed investors to receive state tax credits. In return, funds for low interest business loans would have been available in distressed neighborhoods.

“As a freshman in the minority party, I have learned how hard I have to work for my voice to be heard,” she added. “I’ve enjoyed sharing my ideas with the legislature and working with members of both parties, and I anticipate even more productive discussions in the future.”

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