Where I Stand
As a member of the Council’s Committee on Health, I am continually working to foster healthy communities in the District. I believe in a comprehensive approach to public health whether that’s through healthy food access, supporting early child development, and environmental safety, or lowering the costs of care. I believe that everyone in the District, from newborns to seniors should have access to high-quality services and supports that create a strong foundation of health. That’s why I’ve worked to expand access to home visiting services that help new parents and children thrive, lowered health care barriers for our immigrant families, and reduced prescription drug prices.
What I've Done
Responding to COVID-19
Coronavirus Support Emergency Amendment Act of 2020:
Extends public benefit programs such as the Healthcare Alliance, TANF, and SNAP
Removes the Fiscal Management Board trigger for United Medical Center (UMC) for fiscal year 2020. The amendment allows for the possibility of greater funding in response to the COVID-19 pandemic without triggering the financial control board.
Allows the Insurance, Securities, and Banking Commissioner to issue emergency rulemaking to address the crisis, including granting grace periods for premium payments, postponing premium increases or non-renewals, and allowing modifications to existing insurance policies.
Maternal and Child Care
- Introduced a bill to expand access to Department of Health (DOH) home visiting services. These services provide new parents and children with health and development support to foster an environment for children (birth to age three) that starts them on the road to a positive and healthy life.
- Introduced a bill that would establish a universal “baby box” program to reduce infant mortality, which would give a box of baby supplies to all newborns and foster children that doubles as a bassinet for safe sleep, as well as establish more robust education and training for new parents.
Increasing Access to Care
Advanced the Specialty Drug Copayment Limitation Act, which creates caps on copays or coinsurance for specialty drugs, lowering the cost burdens for prescription medication.
Introduced and passed the Access to Treatment for Anaphylaxis Amendment Act, which increases the availability of epi-pens in spaces like recreation camps, colleges, universities, day cares, restaurants, places of employment, and more.
- Advanced the Specialty Drug Copayment Limitation Act, which creates caps on copays or coinsurance for specialty drugs, lowering the cost burdens for prescription medication.
- Supported and facilitated the New Howard University Hospital and Redevelopment Tax Abatement Act of 2020 which will create a new 225-bed Level 1 Howard University Hospital on Georgia Avenue NW. The Hospital plan implements Five Centers of Excellence as well as an academic teaching facility. This new Hospital brings with it a promise to improve health care and address inequalities in health outcomes for District residents.
Healthcare for Immigrant Communities
- Supported the DC Healthcare Alliance Program Recertification Simplification Amendment Act of 2017. Funded the DC Healthcare Alliance Program through a reduction to the Qualified High-Technology Company Tax Credit.
- Authored a new law that makes it easier for immigrant families to renew their healthcare benefit through the District’s Alliance program, simplifying the certification process for many residents who are very recent immigrants or those who cannot establish legal presence in the United States.
- Passed and funded a law to study the mental health needs of our immigrant community, so as to better serve those experiencing stress and trauma.
Food Access, Lead Testing, and More
Introduced the District of Columbia Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact Act of 2019 which regulates the practice of tele-psychology and the face to face practice of psychology across state boundaries. Among other things, It provides legal recognition to psychologists properly licensed out of state. It also requires all compact states share licensee information with compact states and create a coordinated database on participating compact psychologists.
Co-introduced the “Minor Consent for Vaccinations Amendment Act of 2019 which permits a minor of any age to consent to receive a vaccine where the vaccination is recommended by the United States Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. It also establishes that if a minor is able to comprehend the need for, the nature of, and any significant risks inherent in the medical care then informed consent is established.
Introduced the Bedbug Control Act of 2019, which would set standards for bedbug abatement and require landlords to disclose any bedbug infestations to future tenants. It also requires landlords to notify adjoining tenants of infestations. Landlords and pest control operators are required to report infestations to DCRA and among other things are required to provide a 12-month history for a dwelling of prior infestations before signing of a lease.
Co-Introduced the Lead Hazard Prevention and Elimination Act of 2018.
Pushed for budget increases to programs that increase access to healthy foods, like Produce Rx and Healthy Corners.
- Introduced and passed the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Signature Authority Amendment Act, which enables nurse practitioners to sign and certify documents related to their practice, which reduces the need for unnecessary physician referrals.
- Introduced and passed the Safe Disposal of Pharmaceuticals Amendment Act, which requires the installation of drop boxes for the disposal of expired or unused controlled substances at retail pharmacies, police stations, and hospitals.
- Co-introduced the Childhood Lead Exposure Prevention Amendment Act of 2017, which requires lead testing and filters at District schools.