Gov. Bentley Unveils Alabama Health Care Improvement Task Force

MONTGOMERY – Governor Robert Bentley on Monday signed an executive order creating the Alabama Health Care Improvement Task Force.

“As Governor and a physician, the health of Alabamians is extremely important to me,” Governor Robert Bentley said. “Alabama faces serious problems with chronic conditions. Many of our health issues are related to lifestyle choices, poverty and access to quality health care. The Alabama Health Care Improvement Task Force will address options to improve the health of Alabamians, including strategies to have more-accessible and more-affordable health care in the state.”

The 38-member task force includes doctors, medical school leaders, hospital administrators, insurance executives, nurses, state agency leaders, legislators and other professionals in mental health, dietetics, dentistry, public health, pharmacy, wellness and other specialties. The group may suggest changes to state regulations and laws, and its initial recommendations to the Governor are due before the Legislature’s 2016 regular session begins. Potential focus areas include telemedicine, medical resources in rural areas and scope-of-practice laws for nurse practitioners and other professionals.

Governor Bentley appointed State Health Officer Don Williamson to chair the task force. The first meeting of the task force is scheduled for Wednesday, April 15, in the Old Archives Room at the State Capitol.

“I want to thank Governor Bentley for allowing me to participate in this important initiative,” State Health Officer Dr. Don Williamson said. “The task force provides an opportunity to develop comprehensive strategies to address critical health issues in Alabama, while strengthening rural healthcare infrastructure and improving access to care.” (Governor's Office Press Release)