Two members of the Alabama Health Action Coalition (AL-HAC) leadership received appointments to the Alabama Health Care Improvement Task Force from Governor Robert Bentley on Monday, April 6th. Carol J. Ratcliffe and Joy Deupree will join thirty-six other members appointed by the governor to study how the state can increase access to and affordability of healthcare in rural areas throughout the state. AL-HAC Steering Committee member, Honorable Ron Sparks, was also named to the task force.
“We can't wait for the federal government to try to help our people in this state get health care,” said Governor Bentley. “Many of our health care issues are related to lifestyle choices, related to poverty, and related to access to quality healthcare.”
“Appointment to this task force allows me to serve the people and state in a capacity that will drive meaningful outcomes to improve care,” stated Carol J. Ratcliffe, DNP, RN, FACHE and AL-HAC Co-Leader.
The newly formed task force will focus on opportunities for telemedicine, broadening the scope of practice for advanced practice nurses, and improving existing medical resources to help rural and impoverished communities. The task force’s initial findings will be released prior the 2016 legislative sessions, per request of Governor Bentley, and will be used in the first steps to create a state-alternative to the Affordable Care Act.
“I am humbled to receive this appointment from Governor Bentley,” said Joy Deupree, PhD, MSN, APRN-BC and AL-HAC Chairperson of Communications & Development. “This task force will help provide quality, affordable healthcare to Alabama’s most underserved communities.”