These days it's easy to see why someone may seek political office as so many thousands have in protest. I've always been passionate about public service in various forms, both as a humanitarian and health practitioner. However, nothing fueled my run more than the sudden shift in the administration’s tone, the bullying, the threats of legislation to remove the rights of the most vulnerable, and the state’s gridlock –traits I’d seen in developing countries. These threats inspired me to put aside plans for practice to run for office.
My advocacy leadership began years ago. I founded and was Chief Executive of a non-profit 501c3 consulting and advocacy firm that facilitated health resources to the art community, who did not have access to adequate preventative health services at the time. I formed a network of providers who offered free or discounted services to this community. Later, I was elected Vice President of Health and Humanitarian Aid to the United Nations Association in Chicago. In this role I coordinated teams in the post 2010 Haiti earthquake reconstruction, setting up mobile clinics and aid to remote hospitals and clinics. Today, I remain a consultant for those seeking to do relief endeavors abroad while performing psychological assessments full-time in a trauma one level emergency room. Hundreds of the most vulnerable have received better access or improved treatment both in US and abroad through health delivery systems I have collaborated in or coordinated.
I run for IL State House of Representatives because, I have seen first-hand the consequences of operating without a state budget for the last 2 years. Not having a state budget has meant the end of crucial programs and the closing of clinics. My own clients and patients, who already face many daily challenges, encounter even greater obstacles in their recovery. A fractured system is greater distances to travel for services, longer appointment wait times, pricey medication and limited access to specialists. I’ve now realized that in order to truly help the community, I have to advocate for my patients in a new way. Good governance and sound legislation can reduce stress and anxiety, but threats to take away health resources challenge the notion of a civil society and a quality way of life. For this, I run...for you…