Sasser wins Public Health award

Published 11:43 am Saturday, March 16, 2024

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N.C. Rep. Wayne Sasser has been awarded the 2024 Public Health Legislator of the Year Award.

The award recognizes individuals “who have made significant contributions to the advancement and promotion of public health in North Carolina. This award is selected, in part, based on the documentation provided herein,” according to the state nomination form.

He was recognized with the honor by the N.C. Association of Local Health Directors on Wednesday. Sasser was nominated last fall by Health and Human Services Director David Jenkins.

“I am honored to receive this recognition,” Sasser said. “ t is a team recognition for all the Health Committee and its members.”

Jenkins’ nomination of Sasser included the following:

“Representative Sasser is a Republican member of the North Carolina House of Representatives and worked as registered pharmacist for 40 years. He serves on the House Committee on Health and Human Services, Oversight, House Committee on Medicaid and NC Health Choice, House Oversight, House Committee on Appropriations, Health and Human Services, and the House Committee on Health.

“As a pharmacist, Representative Sasser has years of education, experience, and knowledge of drugs, their effects and potency, and the drug industry and is uniquely qualified and prepared to meet the challenges of combating the opioid crisis. Since elected he has been a leader in addressing the opioid epidemic for NC. Representative Sasser has secured over $10 million in the budget for addiction treatment facilities.

“Representative Sasser has sponsored several bills that that have been signed into law and are specific to public health. House Bill 415, Stop Addiction Fraud Ethics Act of 2023, House Bill 76 Access to Healthcare Options, and House Bill 484 Mental Health Confidential Information Disclosure are a few of the most recent bills.

“Representative Sasser supported the expansion of Medicaid that will benefit some 600,000 people in NC. The expansion of Medicaid is an overdue yet monumental achievement that will extend health insurance to people who need it. This will contribute to better health care, including those with mental health and substance use disorders, assist rural hospitals struggling financially and provide billions of dollars for our NC economy.

“Representative Sasser has also sponsored health department funds in the final state budget for 2023 that will provide flexibility and assist local health departments with monitoring, prevention and treatment of communicable diseases, which our local health departments are uniquely positioned to achieve.

“For all of the examples provided, I am nominating Representative Wayne Sasser for the 2024 Legislator of the Year Award.”

Sasser is in his final year as the House District 67 representative for Stanly and Montgomery counties.