CHARLESTON - Appointed as Vice-Chair of the Health and Human Resources Committee by Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin, Senator Ron D. Stollings (D-Boone) said he is honored to receive such a prominent assignment in his first session and looks forwards to working with Chairman Roman Prezioso. Sen. Stollings, a licensed physician, said he has a unique medical insight that will benefit both the Senate and his respective committees.
“I am flattered that President Tomblin entrusted me with this position of leadership even though I am a newly elected Senator. I plan to make use of my experience as a physician to improve access to quality healthcare,” said Sen. Stollings.
The Senator is concerned foremost with the matters of Health, Education and Economic Development. “It is important to understand that these issues are all related,” he said. “You can’t have a healthy population without a good economy.”
On Wednesday, Governor Manchin issued his annual State of the State address during which he introduced his plan for an e-Prescribing initiative. Sen. Stollings backs the initiative which will create an online network between physicians and pharmacists whereby prescriptions will be sent safely and securely, effectively reducing error rates and costs for patients.
“I am very glad to see that the governor is moving us forward in electronic health records,” he said, “particularly, e-prescribing is a very important tool in cutting down on medical costs.”
One of the bills that Sen. Stollings is co-sponsoring was introduced Wednesday at the start of the legislative session. This bill will prohibit the sale of candy or fruit flavored cigarettes. He believes that banning this merchandise is a step towards eliminating a false perception held by children who use these products that smoking is a positive activity.
The freshman Senator was also appointed to seven other committees, including Education, Energy, Industry and Mining, Government Organization, and Judiciary. Although it may seem that the he has a full plate, he welcomes the challenge.
“There are many issues which affect our state. I am exceedingly excited to be a part of the legislative process. I look forward to representing my constituents in the coming session and I welcome the opportunity that so many of the people in my community have afforded me in representing them.”