Senator Rivers Honored by State Medical Association

For Immediate Release
Oct. 16, 2017   Graham Short

Senator Rivers Honored by State Medical Association

Seattle, Wash. – Sen. Ann Rivers (R-La Center) has been named the Washington State Medical Association’s 2017 Legislator of the Year for her support of the medical association’s legislative efforts, including a bill to help physicians fight the opioid epidemic and legislation protecting the public from distracted driving. The senator, who represents the state’s 18th Legislative District serving parts of Clark County, received the award on Saturday, Oct. 14, at the medical association’s annual meeting at the Hilton Seattle Airport & Conference Center in Seattle.

Each year, the statewide professional organization, representing physicians, physician assistants, resident physicians and medical students, honors a legislator whose knowledge and influence do much to improve the health of people in Washington state.

As a member of the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus and chair of the Senate Health Care Committee, Sen. Rivers was instrumental in getting WSMA-supported bills scheduled for hearings, moved out of committee and passed out of the Senate. She also sponsored or co-sponsored bills that were top priority for the medical association, including legislation in 2017 that advanced solutions identified by the medical and state hospital association’s joint opioid task force to help clinicians fight the opioid epidemic.

“Washington state is facing a worsening crisis of opioid-related addiction and overdose, and Sen. Rivers was crucial in working with the WSMA and our partners to pass legislation giving physicians and hospitals new tools to fight the epidemic” said Dr. Donna Smith, president of the WSMA. “Sen. Rivers helped us secure provisions in the bill that support safe, appropriate prescribing and, importantly, do not interfere with a patient’s ability to have their pain treated.”

Sen. Rivers was also the prime sponsor of Senate Bill 5289, a priority bill for the medical association that allows law enforcement to cite individuals for using electronic devices while driving, a significant factor in automobile-related injuries and deaths.

Sen. Rivers was praised by the association for her contribution to WSMA’s successful legislative efforts in Olympia on behalf of physicians and patients.

“Sen. Rivers was always available when we needed her, and was excellent at sharing important and timely information on bills and other key issues during session,” said Dr. Smith. “Sen. Rivers is truly a physician and patient advocate, and we look forward to working with her in the years ahead.”

Sen. Rivers lives with her husband Fred and their two sons in La Center.

About the WSMA
The Washington State Medical Association represents nearly 11,000 physicians, physician assistants, resident physicians and medical students in Washington state. The WSMA has advocated on behalf of the House of Medicine more than 125 years. Our vision is to make Washington state the best place to practice medicine and receive care.

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Published 10/16/2017