Thursday, July 16, 2009

Senator Amanda Aguirre Awarded for Contributions to Behavioral Health Care

STATE CAPITOL, Phoenix – Sen. Amanda Aguirre (D-24) will receive the Cultural Heritage Award for 2009 from the Arizona State University in acknowledgement of her significant contributions to behavioral health care in Arizona. She will receive the award on July 23 at the 5th Annual Arizona Behavioral Health Awards Gala in the Canyon Ballroom at the Hilton Sedona Resort and Spa in Sedona, Ariz.

“I am honored to be recognized for my work in the behavioral health care field,” said Sen. Amanda Aguirre. “Given Arizona’s high rate of uninsured and unemployed (Yuma County 23.3% unemployment), it is vital that we help create access to affordable healthcare services for the uninsured and underinsured families. Adequate primary care, prevention services and mental health services are very important in rural areas and throughout the state.

“We know that creating a healthcare system that is accessible and affordable will be a challenge, but not impossible. There are best practice models in the healthcare delivery industry that could be implemented throughout the nation that can assure that families can get the medical care needed without losing their homes and family savings. Today, more so than ever, we have an opportunity to change how we deliver healthcare in our country.”

Sen. Aguirre is the ranking Democratic member of the Senate Health Committee and was appointed this year to the Governor’s Team on Mental Health by Governor Jan Brewer. In 2008, Sen. Aguirre sponsored "Steven's Law", which mandates insurance companies to provide medical treatment to children with Autism and Asperger's Syndrome.

Outside of the legislature, Sen. Aguirre is the CEO/President of the Regional Center for Border Health Inc. and CEO/President of the San Luis Walk-In Clinic. She has been involved for more than 25 years in public health education and administration with a strong emphasis on border issues.

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