Senator Gail Griffin has been named the 2016 Legislator of the Year by the Arizona Alliance for Community Health Centers (AACHC). Members of the AACHC recognized Senator Griffin for successfully sponsoring the State Loan Repayment bill, SB 1194 (Medically Underserved Areas; Loan Repayment) and getting it signed into law.
The bill expanded and enhanced a valuable medical provider loan repayment program which is an important tool for recruiting and retaining primary care providers in medically underserved areas of the state. Essential primary care providers, such as behavioral health specialists, pharmacists and geriatric physicians were added to the list of eligible primary care providers (Family Practice, Internal Medicine, OB/GYN and Pediatrics: Physicians, Nurse Practitioners, Certified Nurse Midwives, Physician Assistants and Dentists). No taxpayer funds are used for this loan repayment program.
Access to healthcare services is vitally important to the rural communities she serves. AACHC represents the largest network of primary care providers in the state of Arizona. Community Health Centers are not-for- profit primary care clinics that provide high quality, affordable, comprehensive healthcare services in more than 150 sites throughout Arizona. Many of the services Community Health Centers provides, such as behavioral health, dental and vision services, have been greatly enhanced by Senator Griffin’s statutes on telemedicine. Senator Griffin was also recognized by the AACHC for her commitment to expanding telemedicine capabilities.