Governor Bentley Appoints Sen. Gerald Dial To Health Care Task Force

By Gerald Dial

Governor Robert Bentley has appointed Senator Gerald Dial (R-Lineville) to serve on the Alabama Health Care Improvement Task Force. The task force, formed with an executive order by the Governor, has the mission of giving the Governor recommendations on how to make health care more affordable and accessible for Alabamians. Senator Dial currently serves as Chairman of the Health and Human Services Committee in the Alabama Senate.

“It is an honor to be asked by Governor Bentley to serve on the Alabama Health Care Improvement Task Force,” said Senator Dial. “There are some serious health care challenges our state faces: we have a shortage of primary care physicians and dentists, especially in rural counties. I am looking forward to working with the other members of the task force to find solutions to these challenges.”

Alabama ranks among the top 10 states for rates of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, and in 2013 had an infant mortality rate of 8.6 deaths per 1,000 live births, well above the national rate of 6.0.

According to its mandate from Governor Bentley, the Alabama Health Care Improvement Task Force’s goal is to achieve long-term solutions to Alabama’s health care challenges, and make initial recommendations to the Governor before the 2016 legislative session.

“My focus is on making health care more affordable, and easier to access, for our rural counties. Advances like telemedicine, along with an interstate medical license compact, can give rural counties more access to primary care medicine,” remarked Senator Dial. “We also need to look at scope-of-practice laws for nurse practitioners, to match their expertise with what they licensed to do.”

Senator Gerald Dial represents District 13 in the Alabama Senate, which includes all or parts of Randolph, Lee, Cleburne, Clay, Cherokee, and Chambers counties. He serves as Chairman of the Senate Health & Human Services Committee. Gerald and his wife Faye reside in Lineville.