WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Steve Stivers (R-OH) appeared before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Health to advocate for several legislative proposals in combatting the nation-wide opioid epidemic. Specifically, his testimony focused on evidence-based treatment, the use of pain as a vital sign in medical practice, dosage tapering and partial fill, and finding alternative treatments.
“Physicians and pharmacists need to be able to have conversations with their patients about pain management, develop treatment plans that are unique to the individual, and focus on the long term health of the patient over short term benchmarks,” Stivers said.
He called on Congress to provide sufficient oversight and ensure that federal funds being provided to the states for mental health and addiction treatment are being appropriately directed to treatments that are based on a foundation of evidence as to their efficacy. He also promoted extensive data collection and research on emergent therapies in order to certify innovative approaches in the future.
Stivers also raised questions about the use of pain as a vital sign and the subsequent occurrences of over prescription of opioids at the expense of treating underlying symptoms. He applauded a recent announcement from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that the agency will no longer be linking “pain management” and satisfaction scores to reimbursements for doctors and hospitals as a positive step in changing the culture surrounding pain management.
Additionally, he discussed partial fill of opioid dosages amidst reports that over 70 percent of adults who misuse prescription opioids find them in medicine cabinets of friends or relatives. He referenced language he crafted that was included in the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), that allowed for the partial fill of prescriptions at the request of patients or doctors and urged the Committee to build on that legislation.
Stivers testified as one Member of Congress who represents a district that has been particularly impacted by the opioid epidemic.
“There is no single legislative fix to this epidemic,” Stivers said. “But it is essential that we explore all possible avenues when it comes to helping individuals, families, and communities that have been absolutely decimated by addiction.”
To see the full hearing, click here.
The following can be attributed to Congressman Steve Stivers (R-OH) regarding the introduction of the Reagan Tokes Act in the Ohio Statehouse:
“I am extremely thankful to Toby and Lisa Tokes for taking the lead on these much-needed reforms to our criminal justice system,” Stivers said. “I am hopeful there can be significant improvements made through the Reagan Tokes Act that will prevent other families from having to experience the loss of a loved one and I appreciate Representatives Hughes and Boggs and State Senators Bacon and O’Brien for their work on this important bipartisan legislation.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Steve Stivers (R-OH) testified before the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Health on behalf of his bill, H.R.2225, the Veterans Dog Training Therapy Act. This legislation would establish a pilot program through the Veterans’ Administration to connect veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress to local therapeutic dog training organizations and allow those veterans to train therapy animals.
During the hearing, Stivers referenced preliminary research conducted by Kaiser Permanente that has demonstrated the benefits of therapy dogs for veterans’ mental health. In addition to demonstrating fewer symptoms of post-traumatic stress and depression, veterans demonstrated improved interpersonal relationships and a lower risk of substance abuse. He urged the Committee to act with expedience and bring the bill before the full House for a vote.
“This legislation is about veterans helping veterans. Veterans train the dogs, under the supervision of veteran-managed organizations, and the dogs are then paired with another disabled veteran to aid with their daily life as they continue their healing process,” Stivers said. “The House passed this legislation with bipartisan support in the last Congress, and I encourage the Committee to act quickly to help our veterans.”
The Veterans Dog Training Therapy Act prioritizes partnerships between the VA and local therapeutic dog training organizations that are veteran-owned and managed. This bill has the support of organizations such as the Paralyzed Veterans of America, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), and Disabled American Veterans (DAV).
“Congress has a moral obligation to serve those who have served our nation. I am proud to sponsor this legislation and look forward to the difference it will make in many veterans’ lives,” Stivers said.
To see the full hearing, click here.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs held a legislative hearing on the National Veterans Memorial and Museum Act, H.R. 1900. Introduced by Congressman Steve Stivers (OH-15) and Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-03), the bill would designate the new museum and memorial being built at 300 W. Broad Street (the site of the former Franklin County Veterans Memorial) in downtown Columbus as the “National Veterans Memorial and Museum.” The project will be the only public museum in the country that exists for the exclusive role of sharing the experiences and voices of veterans across all eras, conflicts and branches of the military.
During the hearing, Stivers and Beatty called on the Subcommittee to support H.R. 1900 and advance the bill to the House Floor for a full vote.
"Today's hearing was another exciting step in our effort to create a federal designation for the National Veterans Memorial and Museum, and I am hopeful the subcommittee will join us in supporting this bill," Stivers said. "This will serve as an incredible landmark where we can honor and remember all of our nations' veterans. I am proud to work with Representative Beatty and the countless community leaders who understand the importance of this museum to our veterans, their families, and our entire nation."
“This museum will honor, connect, inspire and educate all Americans about the selfless service and sacrifice of our nation’s more than 40 million veterans,” Beatty said. “Once complete, the National Veterans Memorial and Museum will capture the hearts and minds of visitors, telling the individual stories and shared experiences of veterans throughout history—including those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.” Beatty concluded, “I urge the Subcommittee’s support for this legislation and look forward to working with you, alongside Congressman Stivers, to make the designation for the National Veterans Memorial and Museum a reality.
The National Veterans Memorial and Museum was spearheaded by former Ohio Senator John Glenn, with management of the project being overseen by the Columbus Downtown Development Corporation (CDDC). The construction of the $75 million facility is fully funded and is slated to open in the summer of 2018.
Additionally, the grant supports small businesses by providing technical assistance to streamline Somerset’s business permitting process, establish design standards, and market local businesses. This is part of the larger, collaborative effort between Somerset, Perry County and communities across Southeastern Ohio to revitalize communities, grow tourism and support local small businesses across Ohio’s Appalachian Region. The grant is anticipated to create or save 44 jobs and assist 11 businesses.
“This grant is good news for the Village of Somerset,” Mayor Tom Johnson said. “We have been working hard on economic development in Perry County and with projects like Ohio’s Appalachian Winding Road – Creative Communities from A to Z (Athens to Zanesville) and the $10m Genesis Perry Health Center project which broke ground this week, we are making great progress. Congressman Stivers and his staff have been instrumental in obtaining federal funding to support these projects by researching potential federal funding sources, showing Somerset and other communities across the region the opportunities that exist and then helping schedule the meetings and make introductions to federal agencies that have resulted in these investments in our community and region.”
Sharing a specific visible example of the benefit this will provide Mayor Johnson added, “These funds will only help to enhance these efforts by providing a big boost for our small businesses to make our community an even better place to live, work and raise a family. A good example of this is a new business, the STRONG & Co Restaurant and Bar that is being opened in a renovated building adjacent to our Public Square. By establishing an entertainment district in Somerset, they are able to obtain an additional beverage license to support this business.”
“I join Perry County in celebrating the announcement of these important grants,” Congressman Steve Stivers (R-OH), who represents Somerset in the U.S. House of Representatives, said. “I proudly supported the Village of Somerset in securing federal funding to help stimulate the economy, grow small businesses, and increase tourism in the community. Thank you to Mayor Tom Johnson and all of the community leaders for everything you do for Perry County, and I look forward to continuing to partner with you in these efforts.”
Communities and organizations interested in federal grant opportunities can contact Stivers’ Lancaster District Office for more information and assistance at (740) 654-2654.Read More
1022 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Raised in Ripley, Ohio, Steve Stivers learned from his mother and father the importance of family, hard work and public service, which have been the values he has carried with him through his life, whether as a student at The Ohio State University, a soldier serving overseas, as a State Senator, or as a Member of Congress.
Stivers is currently serving his third term as a Member of Congress and represents Ohio’s 15th Congressional District, which is made up of 12 counties including: all of Athens, Clinton, Fairfield, Hocking, Madison, Morgan, Perry, Pickaway, and Vinton counties, and parts of: Fayette, Franklin, and Ross counties.
Stivers is serving his third term his third term on the Financial Services Committee, which oversees the banking, insurance, real estate, public and assisted housing, and securities industries. Members who serve on the committee also work on housing and consumer protection legislation and oversee Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Federal Reserve Bank.
In addition, Stivers has been tapped to serve on the Committee on Rules, which is charged with determining which bills reach the House Floor for a vote. Historically, the Committee is often known as “The Speaker’s Committee” because it was chaired by the Speaker up until 1910 and is the means through which the Speaker of the House manages the House Floor. The Committee also determines how long and under what rules the full body of the House will debate each bill.
Throughout his career, Steve Stivers has led the way supporting programs and initiatives to encourage job creation, promote economic development, and put our country’s fiscal house in order. As he wrapped up a successful first term in office, two of Stivers veterans bills, the HIRE at Home Act and TRICARE for Kids, were rolled into the National Defense Authorization Act and signed into law by the President. In his second term in office, Stivers had two bills make their way to the President’s desk. These two bills, H.R. 1391 and H.R. 4189,would re-name two postal facilities located in Ohio’s 15th Congressional District after our fallen veterans. These bills are a small measure Congress can take to honor the lives of brave service members who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms.
Prior to running for Congress, Stivers served in the Ohio Senate and before that worked in the private sector for the Ohio Company and Bank One, where he focused on promoting economic development and encouraging job creation.
A career soldier, Stivers has served 29 years in the Ohio Army National Guard and holds the rank of Colonel. He served the United States overseas during Operation Iraqi Freedom in Kuwait, Iraq, Qatar and Djibouti where he led 400 soldiers and contractors and is proud that each and every one returned home safely to the United States. Stivers received the Bronze Star for his leadership throughout the deployment.
Stivers received both his bachelor’s degree and his MBA from The Ohio State University and resides in Columbus with his wife, Karen, and children, Sarah and Sam.
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