On June 10th, Governor Mary Fallin held a ceremonial bill signing of House Bill 1463, by Representative Elise Hall and Senator Jason Smalley. This bill updates the current statute regarding the development of a system of a care for stroke in Oklahoma to include evidence-based recommendations, such as EMS protocols, that will help get stroke patients the quality care that they need more quickly.
This ceremonial bill signing served as an opportunity to celebrate this achievement and recognize those that were involved in many steps of the legislative process. Such individuals included Dr. Anna Wanahita, Co-Director of St John Health System’s Stroke Center and Oklahoma State Advocacy Committee Member, Richard Boone President of St. John Health System Foundation, and Justin McLaughlin ,Vice-President of St. John Health System Foundation, as well as Dr. Carolyn Synovitz, Physician and President of the Oklahoma Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians.
Additionally, the impact of this legislation was felt as stroke survivors and advocates, Donna McDannold, Donna Roy, and Kaven Kendrick and his wife Debbie Kendrick, were also in attendance to thank Governor Fallin for her support of stroke care. Central Oklahoma Sweetheart and Jr. Miss Indian Oklahoman, Faithlyn Seawright, also in attendance, spoke to how stroke has impacted her family. Americana Heart Association (AHA) staff in attendance included, Senior Government Relations Director, Naomi Amaha-Gollnick, Quality and Systems Improvement Director, Katie Butterfield, Senior Executive Director, Debbie Hite, Communications Director, Calley Herth, Heart Walk Corporate Market Director, Emily Wade, and AHA contract lobbyists, Michelle Sutton and Jeramy Rich.
Prior to the bill signing, stakeholders and volunteers participated in a small reception and talked about their respective experience with stroke. Prior to the ceremonial signing and group photo, volunteers and advocates had an opportunity to meet with Governor Mary Fallin and thank her for her support for improving stroke care.
Once Governor Mary Fallin “signed” the bill into law, a group photo was taken. Before our group’s departure, Rep. Elise Hall and Sen. Jason Smalley were thanked by the group for their support and leadership on House Bill 1463.