Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Support for Small Business

I am grateful to be both a healthcare professional and an owner of a small business.  This gives me the great blessing and opportunity to care for people and make positive changes in their healthcare and their lives.  I also appreciate how important it is to have a job and to be able to provide for my family and to provide jobs for others who work with me. 

When my grandparents immigrated to America, they embraced the great American Dream, which includes the freedom to choose a job or profession and then excel in it through hard work, education, and innovation.  This is what has made our communities, our state and our nation great. 

When I started at St. Mark’s Hospital over twenty years ago, we had a modest-sized Emergency Department staffed by five full-time physicians.  Since that time, we have grown our physician group to twenty-three physicians and now care for over 40,000 patients annually.  We strive to provide high quality healthcare and great customer service.  These are the same principles that make any small business successful and provide jobs for many. 

I understand the needs of small businesses and their employees.  I have had to make payroll through challenging economic times and find ways to improve efficiency and provide benefits and care for our fellow employees.  Recently, we merged our group with an even larger group so that now we cover nine hospitals along the Wasatch Front and employ over one hundred physicians.  Altogether this group cares for a significant fraction of emergency and hospitalized patients in this area. 

My experience as a small business owner will guide me to support small businesses throughout Utah as your next State Senator for District 8.  I believe in a balanced budget, fiscal responsibility, and efficiency in our government while providing the highest quality services to our citizens. 

I believe that small business is absolutely essential for the success and prosperity of our state and our country.  I am grateful to be a healthcare professional and grateful to our patients and customers for their trust.  As your next State Senator, I commit myself to represent you effectively and to see that your voice is heard in the Capitol.  I commit myself to supporting measures that will assist Utah’s small businesses as they provide jobs for Utahns, the most important issue in this election.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

UPEA Endorsement

This week I was pleased and honored to receive the official endorsement of the Utah Public Employees' Association.  What a fine organization and group of people this represents.  It is hard to overstate the importance of the constituents of this group--our dedicated public employees who make everything run in this state.  The condition of our great State is a tribute to their great work.  I am proud to have the backing of this organization and will strive to represent all of Utah's public employees well if elected.

This endorsement reminds me that this campaign's message of bipartisan healthcare reform and strong support for small business and public education is precisely the message that is resonating with the people of Utah, particularly in Senate District 8.  Republicans, Independents, and Democrats alike are rallying together to see that their views and their concerns regarding these issues are represented fairly and effectively on Capitol Hill.  I am humbled and encouraged by the wonderful support I have received.  I am amazed by the quality of people and families that I have been privileged to encounter as I've been out walking precincts.  There is a reason Utah is the greatest state in this country, and the reason is its people.

I am looking forward to meeting more and more of the wonderful people here in Senate District 8 between now and November.  If you share our enthusiasm for healthcare reform and support for public schools, please get involved with the campaign by visiting voteshiozawa.com/index.php/volunteer.  Together, we can make the changes we want to see on Capitol Hill!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

UEA Endorsement

I was pleased to receive the official endorsement of the Utah Education Association and the Canyons Education Association recently.  These influential organizations support our teachers and education system and I am grateful for their support in my campaign to strengthen our education system.

This fall as we embark on a new school year, with an ever-increasing student population, it is a huge challenge to keep our class sizes reasonable and provide adequate funding to maintain excellence in our teachers and their curricula.  We need strong education to launch our students into their careers or higher education.  We are blessed to have a hard-working, young population which attracts business to the state of Utah and which fuels our own economy.  However, in order to maintain this excellence we need to provide the adequate funds and oversight to continue our tradition of strong public education.

This will be one of the big priorities of our legislature in the upcoming legislative session.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

My experience in Health Care Reform

This past legislative session, as the President of the Utah Medical Association, I was involved in sponsoring legislation that supports patient advocacy, public health and preserving the doctor–patient relationship.

Here are some highlights:

We were able to enact legislation that increased the amount of free samples that doctors could give to patients from a three-day supply to a month or more.  The effect of this bill will help patients receive medications that they might not otherwise afford and that are vital to their health.  On a similar note, we were able to get legislation passed that allows cancer specialists to dispense cancer-treating medications directly to their sickest patients at the office, at cost to the patient. 

The Utah Medical Association also supported legislation to require minors to have a guardian approve their obtaining tanning at local salons.  This requirement will protect youth from excessive UV radiation that has been shown to increase cancer risks.

Another important patient quality measure that we supported restored confidentiality to the ‘peer review’ process.  ‘Peer review’ allows physicians, nurses and other members of the health care team to meet to discuss patient quality care issues and have those issues protected. The legislation, which had strong bipartisan backing, does not hide or obscure patient complaints or errors and does not interfere in the discovery process. This allows for frank and open discussion and is vital to patient quality improvement.

These are some examples of the important advocacy for patients, the public and for the healthcare team that I am pleased to support.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Grassroots Campaign Kickoff

Had a great turnout and great time tonight at our Grassroots Campaign Kickoff at my home.  It is wonderful to have many fantastic supporters and to get the ball rolling throughout the district. Here are some pictures from the event:

Did you see my ad on page 2 of the recent edition of the Valley Journal?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Get Involved!

Had a wonderful fundraiser last week! Many thanks to our many supporters who are helping make the campaign a reality.  

As I've met and talked with more residents of District 8, I'm impressed by the great ideas I'm hearing about needed changes at the state level in education, health care reform, and the need to balance our budget and meet the financial needs of a growing population.  

As a campaign we are going door-to-door and attending public events such as Butlerville Days and the Midvale Harvest Days parade. This is giving me many opportunities to meet and talk with the great residents of this area.  We're enjoying bipartisan support for my solutions to these pressing issues.

I invite you to join with us as we campaign this fall until the election Nov. 6th.  We have many opportunities for you to get involved.  We have a great message and real solutions to the problems Utah faces.  I would love your support!