Coausphs News

Senator Van Hollen Awarded

5/16/2018 12:00:00 AM

Senator Chris Van Hollen of Maryland received the COA 2017 Congressional Public Health Leadership Award.

COA presented the award to Senator Van Hollen because of his voting record throughout many years of public service demonstrates his commitment to public health. Senator Van Hollen voted against elimination of the Prevention and Public Health Fund, voted for regulating tobacco as a drug, voted to expand the Children's Health Insurance Program, voted to give mental health full equity with physical health, and voted to require negotiated prescription drug prices for Medicare part D. Due to his voting record, Senator Van Hollen has been given a 100% rating by the American Public Health Association.

As a member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Senator Van Hollen understands that the “power of the purse” is one of Congress’ most important and effective tools, especially in the silent war against disease. During the Ebola outbreak, he said, “There's no doubt that the deep health care cuts that we've seen have made it more difficult to respond in a rapid and comprehensive way to the Ebola outbreak . . . . They're doing everything they can with the resources they have now, but the cuts they've seen in past years, they were like eroding the foundation and it clearly meant that they were starting from behind."

During the award presentation on May 16, 2018, members of the COA Board of Directors noted that Maryland hosts the headquarters of the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and the headquarters for COA. Maryland also has more US Public Health Service officers than any other State, with a total of over 2500 active duty and retired officers resident there.

For all of these reasons, COA presented Senator Van Hollen with the 2017 Congressional Public Health Leadership Award.

Pictured from left: CAPT Paul Jung, CAPT Beth Fritsch, Senator Chris Van Hollen, CAPT (Ret.) Dean Coppola, and LCDR Chris Sheehan

Credit: John McElligott