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HMHB Honors 3 Legislators with Wilen Award

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HMHB Honors 3 Legislators with Charlotte Wilen Advocate of the Year Award

Tuesday, February 20, 2018, Atlanta GA:
Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia is proud to announce the winners of the Charlotte Wilen Advocate of the Year Award. We will be honoring three incredible lawmakers who made positive impact in the 2017 legislative session for maternal and infant health in Georgia. The Charlotte Wilen Maternal and Infant Health Advocate of the Year Award acknowledges the hard work and efforts of our State’s lawmakers to improve maternal and child health through policy change.

“We have the great privilege to honor these three lawmakers who prioritized the needs of Georgia families in accessing healthcare during the 2017 legislative session,” explains Pam Wilkes, HMHB Board President.

Honoring Senator Butch Miller (R – Gainesville)

Senator Butch Miller is being recognized for his work to sponsor and pass the Georgia Family Care Act. This law makes it possible for hard-working Georgians who work a minimum of 30 hours per week to use their earned paid time off to take care of a sick family member.

“Prior to this legislation, there were instances where Georgia employees were unable to used earned paid time off to take care of their sick infants or children,” shares Elise Blasingame, HMHB executive director. “The Family Care Act is a great example of a law that promotes flexibility for working families without placing any additional burden on employers. In the long-run, this makes Georgia a more desirable state for working families with children to consider.”

Honoring Representative Katie Dempsey (R-Rome)

Represenative Katie Dempsey is being honored for her work to sponsor and pass House Bill 198 which ensures that local school systems provide information to parents and guardians of students in grades six through 12 on influenza and its vaccine whenever other health information is provided.

“This has been one of the worst flu seasons on record,” shares Elise Blasingame, HMHB executive director. “We are fortunate that lawmakers like Representative Dempsey are making sure that families are provided with accurate information about the importance of the influenza vaccine for children and adults.”

Honoring Senator Jeff Mullis (R – Chickamauga)

Senator Jeff Mullis is being honored for his work to sponsor and pass the Narcotic Treatment Programs Enforcement Act. The Act requires the Department of Community Health to create minimum standards and quality of services for narcotic treatment programs seeking licensure in Georgia. It also prioritizes admission for drug dependent pregnant women.

“I’m very honored to receive this award from the HMHB Coalition of Georgia,” said Sen. Mullis. “Programs like the Narcotic Treatment Program Enforcement Act are so important to the health of Georgia’s women and children, and I am glad that my legislation can offer a positive impact in communities across the state.”

“Georgia has been hit particularly hard by the opioid crisis,” shares HMHB Advocacy Chair, Caryn Hanrahan. “We are continuing to see drug dependent women give birth to infants who experience Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS). It costs the State $52,856 to treat each baby born with NAS. The sooner we can get a pregnant woman into treatment, the better it is for mom, baby and the State budget.”

Georgia ranks 11th for the most prescription opioid overdoses in the nation.

MEDIA CONTACT: Elise Blasingame at 404-205-6680