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HNC Legislative Day
June 10, 2008
HNC 2008 Legislative Day a Big Success!
Dozens of the members of Hemophilia of North Carolina met at the State Legislative Building in Raleigh on June 19th for the 2008 Legislative Day. In total, 43 members visited with over 36 legislators on that day and discussed issues facing the bleeding disorders community. The attendees divided into eight groups that canvassed the State Legislative Building and spent time with legislators in their districts.
The group began the day at the Holiday Inn Brownstone Hotel in Raleigh where they enjoyed breakfast and a session to discuss the talking points, advocacy tips and meet other members of their groups. After breakfast, everyone boarded the bus for Raleigh to visit with their legislators.
In addition to the visits, HNC members were recognized by both the Senate and the House in chamber sessions. HNC also made presentations to two legislators who have worked tirelessly on behalf of the bleeding disorders community. Senator Bill Purcell of North Carolina's 25th Senate District and Representative Verla Insko of North Carolina's 56th House District were awarded plaques honoring them as Legislators of the Year.
Senator Purcell, a pediatrician for over 50 years, earned the distinction through his work in health policy and as chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services. Representative Insko earned the distinction through her work in health policy and as chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services.
"To advance legislation in a complex policy area, such as health practice regulation or Medicaid funding, allies like Senator Purcell and Representative Insko, are an invaluable resource to Hemophilia patients and their families," said Leonard Poe, HNC's Vice President and Advocacy Chair. Poe presented both Senator Purcell and Representative Insko the Legislator of the Year Award as association members looked on.
"I am truly honored to receive this award today, and having some experience with treating Hemophilia patients during my time practicing medicine, I do care deeply about the welfare of blood disorder patients," Senator Purcell said.
Representative Insko said "I am truly honored to receive this award today. Although bleeding disorders are rare, it is so important for us to educate the public and the members of the Legislature about these disorders, so I thank you for the work that you do."
Members gathered in Raleigh to promote legislative interests including the continued funding of a safety net program to assist families of Hemophilia patients with medical and other expenses. Additionally, the State's Medicaid regulations allow patients the freedom to choose medications that work best for them and the group asked legislators to renew or make permanent the statue due to expire next year that addresses this issue. One of the groups was successful in gaining a commitment from Senator Malone to be the primary sponsor to make this statue permanent.
HNC was also able to secure space in the lobby of the Legislative Office Building to share information with legislators and their staff throughout the day.
After the busy day in Raleigh, the group boarded the bus to return to the hotel for dinner and a discussion of the day's events. Members who attended included individuals and families who not only shared their personal insight of living with a bleeding disorder, they also advocated on behalf of the whole community. Our heartfelt thanks to all who attended for taking time out of their busy schedules and help bring about change. There is no doubt that the legislators in Raleigh now know who Hemophilia of North Carolina is and that we will remain vigilant in our quest to monitor and affect legislation that impacts our community.
HNC would like to thank the government affairs staffs at Bayer and Baxter who assisted in the planning of our 2008 HNC Legislative Day.