A picture of Representative Derek Kilmer
Derek K.
Democrat WA 6

About Rep. Derek
  • South Sound Behavioral Health Coalition

    by Representative Derek Kilmer

    Posted on 2016-01-07

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    KILMER asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute.) Mr. KILMER. Mr. Speaker, I rise to highlight some progress being made to improve health care.

    Right now, in my district in Pierce County, Washington, we have a startling shortage of beds for folks who are suffering from mental illness. It is a problem. It has led to overcrowded jails, it has led to people who are in severe mental crisis ending up in emergency rooms, it has led to people not getting the treatment that they need, and it has led to there being desperate families.

    Folks in our region have decided to do something about it. Together with the two largest healthcare providers, our community has formed the South Sound Behavioral Health Coalition, which is comprised of healthcare experts, social service providers, local elected officials, law enforcement, business, labor, and faith leaders. We have come together with a plan to build a new facility that includes 120 beds and that bolsters local behavioral health care.

    It is an extraordinary contrast to the action this week in this body in which the House voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act for the 62nd time. Leaders shouldn't be stripping away care. They should be coming together. They should take a page from my community, where folks are coming together and are moving forward together.


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