Dr. Boozman's Check-up
Sep 09 2019
As the Senate returns to session today, I wanted to take a moment to share some of the highlights from the in-state work period. It was great to be able to spend a long, uninterrupted period on the road in the Natural State, visiting with Arkansans and learning what we need to be focusing on in Washington to improve their lives back home.
- 2019 Ag Tour: Every year during the in-state work period, I spend a week visiting with farmers, ranchers and industry stakeholders at their family farms and production facilities to hear how Washington can improve our agriculture producers’s ability to succeed at feed and clothe the world. My 2019 Ag Tour highlighted innovative methods developed by Arkansas agri-businesses to improve operations. There were plenty of groundbreaking practices to shine a light on, such as Vet Veggies in Springdale, where owner Jerry Martin is seeking to refine techniques of hydroponic farming in a manner that can spread nationwide.
- Veterans Tour: In a similar vein as my ag tour, I spent a week focused on how Washington can better serve Arkansas’s veterans. The week-long tour focused on meeting with veterans to learn more about their needs in communities across the state; examining Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities serving Arkansans; and listening to voices advocating with and for former service members across our state.
- Advocating to Increase the Number of Doctors in Arkansas: Like the rest of the nation, Arkansas is experiencing a physician shortage in our hospitals and medical facilities across the state. To address this crisis, I joined with U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) to introduce a bill to lift the caps on Medicare-funded residency slots. I discussed this solution during a summit on graduate medical education at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences' Schmieding Center for Senior Health and Education.
- Promoting Economic Growth in the Natural State: I was on the road in Arkansas throughout the in-state work period meeting with community leaders and small business owners to discuss legislative efforts to encourage economic growth, increase employment and create a business-friendly environment.
- AETN’s Arkansas Week: I stopped by the AETN studio in Conway to discuss trade issues with Steve Barnes for the August 16 edition of Arkansas Week. You can watch our full conversation here.
- KASU’s Morning Edition: While in Jonesboro, I visited KASU’s studio to chat with Johnathan Reaves during Morning Edition. We discussed veterans’ issues, agriculture, trade and opioids. The entire interview is archived here.
- Talking Summer Meals with Fox16 News: During summer, many kids don’t have access to the free or reduced lunches they receive throughout the school year. One of the Senate Agriculture Committee’s top priorities is the reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act and I am working to include legislation I authored to address this issue into the larger reauthorization. Watch as Kathy Webb, Executive Director of the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, and I discuss how this bill would make a difference on the August 29 edition of the Fox16 morning show.
Aug 31 2018
Aug 01 2018
Thank you to the Arkansans who participated in my most recent telephone town hall that we conducted on Monday, July 30. I appreciated hearing the concerns and answering questions about a wide range of issues important to them including veterans benefits. If you missed the event you can listen to the conversation here.
Join our next tele-town hall by signing up here.
Jun 22 2018
Jun 18 2018
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced it is conducting a review of cases evaluated by a former pathologist at the Fayetteville VA Medical Center who was found to be impaired while at work. This physician has since been terminated. A preliminary investigation by the VA’s Office of the Inspector General found this physician misdiagnosed patients. The VA is now conducting a thorough review of all cases read by this pathologist and investigating the extent of misdiagnoses.
This misconduct is incredibly disturbing. Understandably, veterans and their families who receive care at the Fayetteville VA are frustrated and concerned about whether these misdiagnoses impact them. I am committed to getting answers for impacted veterans and their families and making sure the VA holds accountable those individuals responsible for this misconduct.
Unfortunately, at this time, we don’t know the extent of this pathologist’s errors. The VA is in the process of notifying patients whose cases were evaluated by this pathologist and will additionally contact these individuals after their case review is completed.
Patients who have questions or concerns can call 866-388-5428 or 479-582-7995. This call center is staffed by VA nurses specifically to answer questions and address patient concerns about this review process.
The VA announced a town hall meeting to be held on Monday, July 9 at 11 a.m. at the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks in Fayetteville in the auditorium of building 3 to discuss updates about its pathology reviews.
My office is ready and willing to help veterans and their families affected by this alleged negligence. For assistance, please call any of my Arkansas offices and let us know you are a veteran or a family member of a veteran who receives care at the Fayetteville VA. I am committed to ensuring that our veterans receive the health care they earned in service to our country and overseeing that the VA is providing the quality care they expect and deserve.
Tony St. James—host of “All Ag, All Day”—was kind enough to swing by my office during his second annual “All Ag, All Day DC Capitol Ag Tour.” We had a very good visit where we discussed the Farm Bill, hunger relief efforts and trade with Cuba.
The audio of my interview, along with the wide array of others Tony conducted during the tour, is available online here.
May 11 2018
A WIN-WIN for Arkansas, and for our nation.
That is how Carol Williams, the executive director of Land Trust Arkansas, describes the Securing Required Funding for Water Infrastructure Now (SRF WIN) Act—a bill I introduced with Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) to modernize our approach to funding water infrastructure.
Carol’s piece in today’s edition of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette is behind a paywall, but I’d like to highlight what she wrote about the SRF WIN Act.
Her praise for the SRF WIN Act comes on the heels of an Environment and Public Works (EPW) hearing where experts offered their support of the bill.
During the hearing, Arkansas Rural Water Association Dennis Sternberg said it “would offer a new and efficient tool to leverage limited federal resources and stimulate additional investment in our nation’s infrastructure” and Kristina Swallow, the President of the American Society of Civil Engineers, called it “one more tool in our tool box that will help our local communities fund the infrastructure that they need to serve their community’s needs.”
May 11 2018
My staff and I put together a video to show Arkansans what one of my typical days working for them in Washington, D.C. looks like. We wanted to give you a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on during an average day: meetings with Arkansans & stakeholders, attending committee hearings, giving a speech on the Senate floor and helping to celebrate worthy causes are just a few of the highlights. Watch the video to see for yourself how the day unfolds.
It's an honor to represent you. I'm working hard to use the power of this office for good, help make your life better and ensure that future generations will enjoy the many benefits our state and country have to offer.
More than 90 percent of Natural State businesses are small businesses. They employ nearly half of Arkansas employees. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, so Congressman Westerman and I wanted to hear directly from the people who are on the frontlines of economic activity. We’ll be taking their concerns and feedback to Washington, D.C. in order to help enact pro-growth policies that provide the predictability small-business owners need.
Here are some highlights from the #TalkSmallYall Small Business Tour as covered by media outlets in Arkansas: