WASHINGTON —The American Medical Association presented Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker with the Dr. Nathan Davis Award for Outstanding Government Service. Gov. Baker has been a bipartisan leader and innovator, particularly on the issue of opioids, where he took decisive and meaningful action by convening a multi-stakeholder working group to develop a comprehensive plan to fight the epidemic.
The Baker-Polito Administration has made major investments to address the opioid epidemic, and with its Fiscal Year 2020 budget proposal is recommending $266 million in funding across several state agencies for substance misuse treatment and services. Since FY15 the Administration has increased funding for treatment, counseling, education, and other services by $147 million, an increase of 123%. Gov. Baker also secured the passage of landmark legislation which included prevention education for students and physicians and the first in the nation seven-day limit on first-time opioid prescriptions. Under Gov. Baker’s leadership, Massachusetts saw a 4-percent drop in opioid-related overdose deaths in 2017.
“As the opioid epidemic grips our country, Gov. Baker has been one of the most innovative, forward-thinking, results-oriented leaders in confronting this challenge,” said AMA Board Chair Jack Resneck Jr., M.D. “By convening stakeholders and experts and challenging the status quo, he has secured critical gains that are producing positive results. In just five years as governor, Gov. Baker has secured comprehensive legislation to combat the crisis, expanded access to naloxone for vulnerable populations, and worked with the Massachusetts Medical Society and the state’s medical schools to enhance core competencies for the prevention and management of prescriptions drug abuse.”
Governor Baker is currently serving his second term in office. He was nominated by the Massachusetts Medical Society and the AMA presented him the Dr. Nathan Davis Award last night at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., as part of the AMA’s National Advocacy Conference.
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