Talking About Health Concerns

By: Meryl Conant
By: Meryl Conant

The election is a little more than a month away -- but local candidates took time Monday night to learn and talk about health care issues.

It was the 16th Annual Legislative Dinner sponsored by Augusta Medical Center.

In front of an audience of nurses and local nursing students -- 20th District Delegate Chris Saxman, his opponent Bruce Elder and 26th District Candidate Lowell Fulk fielded questions.

Both Saxman and Elder presented ways they thought may help deal with the nursing shortage.

Elder says putting school nurses in every Virginia school would do more than just help teach good health habits early.

"It also in my opinion could give us a pool of new nurses as every school nurses is a mentor to hundreds of students," Elder said.

Saxman's idea is to create incentives for students to pursue nursing in Virginia.

But that means making sure secondary educational opportunities exist.

"We need to have more availability in our higher education degrees to put them into our facilities and to have them actually caring for patients," Saxman said.

Both candidates also discussed the pressing need to tackle the Medicaid issue.

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