CAMPAIGN IN THE US

INFORMATION CURRENT AS OF JUNE 2017

 

Instructions:

  1.  Click on your state (below) where you will locate the e-mail addresses you need. Please note that some email address may consist of different names than the person you are contacting. This is because you are writing to their Point of Contact. If there are two email addresses listed next to a contact’s name, send your same letter to both email addresses at the same time to maximize contacting the intended person.
  2. Cut and paste the appropriate sample letter (below) for your state into an email where you will edit any parts you wish depending on who you’re sending it to. Follow the instructions listed under your state’s dropdown menu (below).
  3. Write a brief version of your story that you will include as a part of the letter you are sending. Please keep the story and the overall email concise, as most legislators/regulating bodies will not have time to read overly long messages.
  4. When writing, please follow the tone of the sample letter: professional, informative, civil and use appropriate language that is representative of W-BAD’s objectives/mission.
  5. Compose a separate email to each person listed under your state (as you want them to be somewhat personal and addressed specifically to each person). All of the emails can be identical unless you want to compose slightly different ones specifically tailored to who you are writing.
  6. Title the e-mail as listed in the sample letter instructions
  7. Read over everything to be sure you’ve removed the instructions and included everything you wished.
  8. Send the e-mails.

Find Your State’s Sample Letter:

Massachusetts

Sample Letter: 

  • Change anything in red to your personal information
  • Every letter you send will include the black text
  • Include the purple text (with the black text, but not the green) only when writing the Board of Medicine
  • Include the green text (with the black text, but not the purple) only when writing the Governor.

Email subject: Attn: Name of individual you are contacting; H3594/S1092

Dear [title/name of who this email will be sent to],

I am writing to ask that you support H3594/S1092, ‘An Act relative to Benzodiazepines and Nonbenzodiazepine hypnotics,’ which will go to hearing on July 25th, 2017. Benzodiazepines are the most widely prescribed drugs in the world. They are often prescribed for insomnia & anxiety but can be prescribed for an array of other conditions. You may be familiar with some of their brand names such as Valium, Xanax, Ativan, and Klonopin—as well as sleeping pills like Ambien and Lunesta, which act similarly to benzodiazepines and, thus, carry the same problems.

The issue is that, more often than not, benzodiazepines are being prescribed by physicians and other medical providers for longer than the recommended 2-4 week guidelines, with little to no information being shared with the patient (no informed consent) about the potential adverse effects and withdrawal that can result from compliant use past this time frame. Once physically dependent, the patient cannot stop taking the medication—even when they want to—without a long taper and debilitating withdrawal symptoms. Sometimes, the withdrawal is severe and long-lasting (protracted)—with some reported cases of taking many years to withdrawal via taper or for the nervous system to fully repair post-cessation.  This leads to a litany of socioeconomic issues, as the patient is often rendered unable to work or to be a productive member of society like they were prior to benzodiazepine prescription; many people suffering from benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome are forced to collect social security disability due to its severity and duration.

[insert your very BRIEF story/personal testimony]

H3594/S1092 would simply require that patients receive informed consent from their medical professionals (doctors, PAs, NPs, etc.) before prescribing a benzodiazepine or nonbenzodiazepine so that the patient can be fully educated on the risks and potential harms associated with prolonged use of these drugs. This small requirement could be the difference between life and death for many and would eliminate much undue suffering.  The bills also places a limit on the timeline for which new benzodiazepines/Z-drug prescriptions can be prescribed (i.e. 10 days supply or less, with no refills) and that those already dependent on benzodiazepines be allowed to either 1. Make the decision to remain on the drug (no one who is already iatrogenically physically dependent should be forced to withdraw against their will) or 2. Choose to slowly taper off at a rate and speed that they, the patient, deem comfortable. I ask you to please support this legislation and make Massachusetts the first state in the nation to recognize and pass regulations around this very important issue.

[This section in purplein addition to the blackis to be included in your email to the Massachusetts Board of Medicine only (do not include this to legislators, as it is too long and irrelevant): As members of the Board of Medicine, you have all taken an oath to “first, do no harm” which means you have a duty to protect patients in this state. As you most likely already know, there are currently bills pending/passed in many states calling for stricter regulations of opioid drugs. It makes little sense to regulate opioids and to ignore that benzodiazepines absolutely require similar regulations. Benzodiazepine withdrawal syndromes are far more dangerous and long-lasting than opiates. Moreover, the clinical effectiveness of these drugs is a question of much debate and there is growing evidence that their chronic prescription is a matter of grave concern for health professionals, legislators and, most importantly, patients.These drugs were intended for short term use only and the medical community has created an epidemic of physically dependent long-term patients who are stuck taking a class of drug that has the most debilitating withdrawal reaction in all of medicine. The American Psychiatric Association has known since the 1980s that these drugs caused these issues, as they organized a Task Force about them. Unfortunately, the problem still persists and is getting worse.

If the above bills do not pass in the House and Senate, I suggest that the Massachusetts Board of Medicine along with Charlie Baker, the Massachusetts State Governor, pass physician-decided regulations and bypass legislators altogether. This was done In February 2017, when the Virginia Board of Medicine created new opioid prescription guidelines, so we know it’s a viable means to get state drug regulations passed. Medical prescribers, having been initially misled for years by pharma companies that these drugs were “non-addictive,” are largely responsible for the mass and long-term prescribing mess that we find ourselves in; it seems only right that they take some responsibility in cleaning it up. Furthermore, all specialties of medicine should support benzodiazepine regulation as the drugs often lead to a plethora of emerging symptoms (due to “breakthrough symptoms” from tolerance and interdose withdrawal in long-term use or toxicity) for which patients often wind up seeking out specialists (cardiologists for heart palpitations, neurologists for dizziness, rheumatologists for rashes, orthopedists for muscle spasticity, gastroenterologists for GI distress, etc). Sadly, the benzodiazepine being the cause of their distress and newly emerging symptoms is often overlooked as the direct cause and the patients are often subjected to expensive batteries of tests, misdiagnosed, and/or poly drugged as a result.]

[(Include this section in green—in addition to the blackonly when writing the Governor:) If the above bills do not pass in the House and Senate, I suggest that the Massachusetts Board of Medicine along with Charlie Baker, the Massachusetts State Governor, pass physician-decided regulations and bypass legislators altogether.]

 

If time allows, please visit the following websites to learn more about this most urgent and serious problem:

benzoinfo.com

w-bad.org

http://benzo.org.uk

Thank you for your time and consideration regarding this matter.

Your full name

Location (City, State, Zip Code)

Email/Phone Number

Hawaii

Sample Letter: 

  • Change anything in red to your personal information
  • Every letter you send will include the black text
  • Include the purple text (with the black text, but not the green) only when writing the Board of Medicine
  • Include the green text (with the black text, but not the purple) only when writing the Governor.

Email subject: Attn: Name of individual you are contactingSB505

Dear [title/name of who this email will be sent to]

I am writing to ask that you support SB505—with an amendment (which I will address below). Benzodiazepines are the most widely prescribed drugs in the world. They are often prescribed for insomnia & anxiety but can be prescribed for an array of other conditions. You may be familiar with some of their brand names such as Valium, Xanax, Ativan, and Klonopin—as well as sleeping pills like Ambien and Lunesta, which act similarly to benzodiazepines and, thus, carry the same problems.

The issue is that, more often than not, benzodiazepines are being prescribed by physicians and other medical providers for longer than the recommended 2-4 week guidelines, with little to no information being shared with the patient (no informed consent) about the potential adverse effects and withdrawal that can result from compliant use past this time frame. Once physically dependent, the patient cannot stop taking the medication—even when they want to—without a long taper and debilitating withdrawal symptoms. Sometimes, the withdrawal is severe and long-lasting (protracted)—with some reported cases of taking many years to withdrawal via taper or for the nervous system to fully repair post-cessation. This leads to a litany of socioeconomic issues, as the patient is often rendered unable to work or to be a productive member of society like they were prior to benzodiazepine prescription; many people suffering from benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome are forced to collect social security disability due to its severity and duration.

[insert your very BRIEF story/personal testimony]

SB505 is a bill worth supporting in that it limits initial prescriptions of both opiates and benzodiazepines, except under certain circumstances, to seven days. Where it is lacking and may be potentially dangerous is that:

  • it does not require medical professionals (doctors, PAs, NPs) to acquire informed consent from their patients before prescribing a benzodiazepine or nonbenzodiazepine so that the patient can be fully educated on the risks and potential harms associated with prolonged use of these drugs. This small requirement could be the difference between life and death for many and would eliminate much undue suffering.  
  • it does not include any language which would protect already physically dependent (from repeat as prescribed use) patients who have been on the benzodiazepines long-term against being withdrawn against their will (no one who is already physically dependent should be forced to withdraw against their will) or from being forced to withdraw faster than they are physically able (all rates/speeds of tapers to discontinue benzodiazepines should be controlled by the patient).
  • It doesn’t address Z-drugs (or nonbenzodiazepines), which carry similar problems to benzodiazepines.

I draw your attention to Bill S1092 that is currently pending a hearing in the Massachusetts Senate, which also was written to regulate benzodiazepines and nonbenzodiazepine drugs. The language in that bill includes special provisions to protect those most at risk for harm from Hawaii Bill SB505— the already physically dependent (from repeat taken-as-prescribed prescription) population.

I ask that you please support this legislation—with an amendment to include the aforementioned protections—and make Hawaii the first state in the nation to recognize and pass regulations around this very important issue.

[This section in purple—in addition to the black—is to be included in your email to the Hawaii Board of Medicine (do not include this to legislators, as it is too long and irrelevant): As members of the Board of Medicine, you have all taken an oath to “first, do no harm” which means you have a duty to protect patients in this state. As you most likely already know, there are currently bills pending/passed in many states, including Hawaii, calling for stricter regulations of opioid drugs. It makes little sense to regulate opioids and to ignore that benzodiazepines absolutely require similar regulations. Benzodiazepine withdrawal syndromes are far more dangerous and long-lasting than opiates. Moreover, the clinical effectiveness of these drugs is a question of much debate and there is growing evidence that their chronic prescription is a matter of grave concern for health professionals, legislators and, most importantly, patients.These drugs were intended for short term use only and the medical community has created an epidemic of physically dependent long-term patients who are stuck taking a class of drug that has the most debilitating withdrawal reaction in all of medicine. The American Psychiatric Association has known since the 1980s that these drugs caused these issues, as they organized a Task Force about them. Unfortunately, the problem still persists and is getting worse.

If the above bill does not pass in the Senate, I suggest that the Hawaii Board of Medicine along with David Ige, the Hawaii State Governor, pass physician-decided regulations and bypass legislators altogether. This was done In February 2017, when the Virginia Board of Medicine created new opioid prescription guidelines, so we know it’s a viable means to get state drug regulations passed. Medical prescribers, having been initially misled for years by pharma companies that these drugs were “non-addictive,” are largely responsible for the mass and long-term prescribing mess that we find ourselves in; it seems only right that they take some responsibility in cleaning it up. Furthermore, all specialties of medicine should support benzodiazepine regulation as the drugs often lead to a plethora of emerging symptoms (due to “breakthrough symptoms” from tolerance and interdose withdrawal in long-term use or toxicity) for which patients often wind up seeking out specialists (cardiologists for heart palpitations, neurologists for dizziness, rheumatologists for rashes, orthopedists for muscle spasticity, gastroenterologists for GI distress, etc). Sadly, the benzodiazepine being the cause of their distress and newly emerging symptoms is often overlooked as the direct cause and the patients are often subjected to expensive batteries of tests, misdiagnosed, and/or poly drugged as a result.]

[Include this section in greenin addition to the blackonly when writing the Governor: If the above bill (with pertinent amendments) does not pass in the Senate, I suggest that the Hawaii Board of Medicine along with David Ige, the Hawaii State Governor, pass physician-decided regulations and bypass legislators altogether.]

If time allows, please visit the following websites to learn more about this most urgent and serious problem:

benzoinfo.com

w-bad.org

http://benzo.org.uk

Thank you for your consideration.

Your full name

Location (City, State, Zip Code)

Email/Phone Number

All Other States

Sample Letter: 

  • Change anything in red to your personal information
  • Every letter you send will include the black text
  • Include the purple text (with the black text, but not the green) only when writing the Board of Medicine
  • Include the green text (with the black text, but not the purple) only when writing the Governor.

 


Email subject: Attn: Name of individual you are contacting re: benzodiazepine/Z-drug legislation

Dear [title/name of who this email will be sent to],

I am writing to ask that you review a bill that is currently pending a hearing in Massachusetts—S.1092, ‘An Act Relative to Benzodiazepine and Nonbenzodiazepine Hypnotics’ S.1092—and then consider drafting/supporting identical regulations and legislation in [your state’s name]. Benzodiazepines are the most widely prescribed drugs in the world. They are often prescribed for insomnia and anxiety but can be prescribed for an array of other conditions. You may be familiar with some of their brand names such as Valium, Xanax, Ativan, and Klonopin—as well as sleeping pills like Ambien and Lunesta, which act similarly to benzodiazepines and, thus, carry the same problems. Note: Hawaii also has a bill pending in the Senate which addresses limiting benzodiazepine prescription, although it is mainly focused on opiates and lacks language around informed consent for benzodiazepines as well as language that will protect those already physically dependent on long-term prescribed benzodiazepines.

The issue is that, more often than not, benzodiazepines are being prescribed by physicians and other medical providers for longer than the recommended 2-4 week guidelines, with little to no information being shared with the patient (no informed consent) about the potential adverse effects and withdrawal that can result from compliant use past this time frame. Once physically dependent, the patient cannot stop taking the medication—even when they want to—without a long taper and debilitating withdrawal symptoms. Sometimes, the withdrawal is severe and long-lasting (protracted)—with some reported cases of taking many years to withdrawal via taper or for the nervous system to fully repair post-cessation. This leads to a litany of socioeconomic issues, as the patient is often rendered unable to work or to be a productive member of society like they were prior to benzodiazepine prescription; many people suffering from benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome are forced to collect social security disability due to its severity and duration.

[insert your very BRIEF story/personal testimony]

A bill identical to S.1092 in Massachusetts in (insert your state’s name) would simply require that patients receive informed consent from their medical professionals (doctors, PAs, NPs, etc.) before a benzodiazepine or non-benzodiazepine is prescribed so that the patient can be fully educated on the risks and potential harms associated with prolonged use of these drugs. This small requirement could be the difference between life and death for many and would eliminate much undue suffering. A similar bill would require a limit on the timeline for which new benzodiazepines/Z-drug prescriptions can be prescribed (i.e. 10 days supply or less, with no refills) and that those already dependent on benzodiazepines be allowed to either 1. Make the decision to remain on the drug (no one who is already iatrogenically physically dependent should be forced against their will to withdraw) or 2. Choose to slowly taper off at a rate and speed that they, the patient, deem comfortable. I ask you to please consider drafting/supporting similar legislation and follow closely behind Massachusetts’ trailblazing efforts to recognize and pass regulations around this very important issue.

[This section in purplein addition to the blackis to be included in your email to the Massachusetts Board of Medicine only (do not include this to legislators, as it is too long and irrelevant): As members of the Board of Medicine, you have all taken an oath to “first, do no harm”—which means you have a duty to protect your patients in this state. As you most likely already know, there are currently bills pending/passed in many states calling for stricter regulations of opioid drugs. It makes little sense to regulate opioids and to ignore that benzodiazepines absolutely require similar regulations—although benzodiazepine regulations should be slightly different (as detailed above). Benzodiazepine withdrawal syndromes are far more dangerous and long-lasting than opiates. Moreover, the clinical effectiveness of these drugs is a question of much debate and there is growing evidence that their chronic prescription is a matter of grave concern for health professionals, legislators and, most importantly, patients. These drugs were intended for short-term use only, but the medical community has created an epidemic of physically dependent long-term patients who are stuck taking a class of drug that has the most debilitating withdrawal reaction in all of medicine. The American Psychiatric Association has known since at least the 1980s that these drugs caused these issues, as they organized a Task Force about them. Unfortunately, the problem still persists and is getting worse.If the legislators drag their feet on drafting a bill or cannot get a bill passed, I suggest that the Board of Medicine, along with the State Governor, pass physician-decided regulations and bypass legislators altogether. This was done In February 2017, when the Virginia Board of Medicine created new opioid prescription guidelines, so we know it’s a viable means to get state drug regulations passed. Medical prescribers, having been initially misled for years by pharma companies that these drugs were “non-addictive,” are largely responsible for the mass and long-term prescribing mess that we find ourselves in—it seems only right that they take some responsibility in cleaning it up. Furthermore, all specialties of medicine should support benzodiazepine regulation as the drugs often lead to a plethora of emerging symptoms (due to “breakthrough symptoms” from tolerance and interdose withdrawal in long-term use or toxicity) for which patients often wind up seeking out specialists (cardiologists for heart palpitations, neurologists for dizziness, rheumatologists for rashes, orthopedists for muscle spasticity, gastroenterologists for GI distress, etc.). Sadly, the benzodiazepine being the cause of their distress and newly emerging symptoms is often overlooked as the direct cause and the patients are often subjected to expensive batteries of tests, misdiagnoses, and/or unnecessary poly-drugging as a result.]

[(Include this section in greenin addition to the blackonly when writing the Governor:) If legislators drag their feet on drafting a bill or cannot get one passed, I suggest that the Board of Medicine, along with the State Governor, pass physician-decided regulations and bypass legislators altogether.]

If time allows, please visit the following websites to learn more about this most urgent and serious problem:

benzoinfo.com  

w-bad.org

http://benzo.org.uk

Thank you for your time and consideration regarding this matter.

Your full name

Location (City, State, Zip Code)

Email/Phone Number


Locate your state and corresponding “key contacts”:

Alabama

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Governor Kay Ivey: send your letter directly here or here.

Thomas M. Miller, M.D., Acting State Health Officer of Alabama Department of Public Health Development: Chuck.Lail@adph.state.al.us and Janicecook@adph.state.al.us

James V. Perdue, Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Mental Health: Alabama.DMH@mh.alabama.gov?subject=This%20is%20from%20the%20ADMH%20website%20Seeking%20Help

Norris W. Green, JD, Acting Executive Director, Alabama Board of Medicine: bme@albme.org

Alaska

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Governor Bill Walker: governor@gov.state.ak.us

William Streur, Commissioner of Alaska Department of Health:   Triptaa.Surve@alaska.gov

Debora J. Stovern, CMBE, Executive Administrator, Alaska Board of Medicine:  medicalboard@alaska.gov and  debora.stovern@alaska.gov

Arizona

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Governor Doug Ducey: azgov@azgov.com

Sheila Sjolander, Acting Assistant Director of Dept. of Health Services:  Rosceta@azdhs.gov

Patricia E. McSorley, JD, Executive Director of Arizona Board of Medicine: send your letter here 

Jenna Jones, CPM, Executive Director of Arizona Board of Osteopathic Examiners in Medicine and Surgery: send your letter here

Arkansas

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Governor Asa Hutchinson: info@governor.arkansas.gov

Stephanie Williams, Deputy Director of Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services:  Connie.Melton@arkansas.gov

Karen Whatley, JD, Executive Secretary of Arkansas Board of Medicine: Support@armedicalboard.org

California

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr.: governor@governor.ca.gov

Rene Mollow, Deputy Director of California Dept. of Health Care Services: April.freitas@dhcs.ca.gov and Emine.Gunhan@dhcs.ca.gov

Kimberly Kirchmeyer, Executive Director of California Medical Board: webmaster@mbc.ca.gov 

Angelina M. Burton, Executive Director, Osteopathic Medical Board of California: osteopathic@dca.ca.gov

Colorado

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Governor John Hickenlooper: governor.hickenlooper@state.co.us

Web Brown, Director of the Office of Health Equity: web.brown@state.co.us

Dr. Larry Wolk, M.D., MSPH; Executive Director and Chief Medical Officer of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment: Larry.wolk@state.co.us

Board Members of Health Commission: cdphe.bohrequests@state.co.us

Wendy Anderson, Interim Program Director, Colorado Board of Medicine: dora_medicalboard@state.co.us

Connecticut

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Governor Dannel Malloy:  governor.malloy@ct.gov

Commissioner of Health, Raul Pino M.D., M.P.H.: Rebecca.Foreman@ct.gov

Michelle H. Seagull, Commissioner of DCP: michelle.seagull@ct.gov

Commissioner of the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP):  dcp.commissioner@ct.gov

Jeff Kardys, Admin. Hearings Specialist Bd. Liaison, Connecticut Board of Medicine: webmaster.dph@ct.gov

Delaware

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Governor John Carney, Jr.:  jcarney@state.de.us

Secretary of Health and Social Services, Dr. Kara Odom Walker: info@pcori.org

Delaware Health Care Commission, Executive Director Laura Howard: Laura.Howard@state.de.us

Devashree Brittingham, Executive Director, Delaware Board of Medicine: customerservice.dpr@state.de.us

Florida

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Governor Rick Scott:  rick.scott@eog.myflorida.com

Celeste Philip, MD, MPH, Surgeon General and Secretary of the Florida Department of Health: celeste.philip@flhealth.gov and FLASurgeonGeneral@flhealth.gov

Florida Department of Health: health@flhealth.gov  

Claudia Kemp, JD, Executive Director, Florida Board of Medicine: send it directly here

Kama Monroe, JD Executive Director, Florida Board of Osteopathic Medicine: send it directly here

Georgia

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Governor Nathan Deal: georgia.governor@gov.state.ga.us

Exec. Asst. to DPH Commissioner, Huriyyah Lewis: huriyyah.lewis@dph.ga.gov

Secretary of Health, Tom Price: Secretary@HHS.gov

Robert Jeffery, MBA, Executive Director, Georgia Board of Medicine: medbd@dch.ga.gov

Hawaii

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Governor David Ige: send your letter here.

Danette Wong Tomiyasu, Hawaii State Health Department: danette.tomiyasu@doh.hawaii.gov

Ahlani K. Quiogue, Executive Officer, Hawaii Medical Board: pvl@dcca.hawaii.gov

Idaho

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Governor Butch Otter:  Governor@gov.idaho.gov

Elke D. Shaw-Tulloch, State Health Official and Administrator, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare:  Rowenl@idhw.state.id.us

Anne K. Lawler, JD, RN, Executive Director, Idaho Board of Medicine: info@bom.idaho.gov

Illinois

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Governor Bruce Rauner: send your letter here.

Nirav Shah, M.D., J.D. Director of Public Health:  director@idph.state.il.us and bill.dart@illinois.gov

Jessica A. Baer, JD, Acting Director, Illinois Board of Medicine: FPR.LMU@Illinois.gov

Indiana

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Governor Eric Holcomb: send your letter here.

William C. VanNess II, MD, State Health Commissioner:  cmaxey@isdh.in.gov

Darren R. Covington, JD, Board Director, Indiana Board of Medicine: pla3@pla.in.gov

Iowa

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Governor Kim Reynolds: send your letter here.

Katherine (Katie) Jerkins, MPH, Iowa Department of Public Health: katherine.jerkins@idph.iowa.gov and bbuckner@idph.state.ia.us

Mark E. Bowden, MPA, CMBE, Executive of Iowa Board of Medicine: ibm@iowa.gov

Kansas

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Governor Sam Brownback: Constituent@governor.wpo.state.ks.us

Secretary of Kansas Dept. of Health/Environment, Susan Mosier: susan.mosier@KS.gov and info@kdheks.gov

Kathleen J. Selzler Lippert, JD, CMBE, Executive Director, Kansas Board of Medicine: Kathleen.Lippert@ks.gov

Kentucky

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Governor Matt Bevin: http://governor.ky.gov/contact/

State Commissioner of Health, Stephanie Mayfield Gibson: StephanieK.Mayfield@ky.gov and  kay.harper@KY.gov

Michael S. Rodman, Executive Director, Kentucky Board of Medicine: send your letter directly here

Louisiana

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Governor John Bel Edwards: send your letter directly here.

Dr. Rebekah Gee, MD, MPH, Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health: ldhinfo@la.gov

Keith C. Ferdinand, MD, Interim Executive Director, Louisiana Board of Medicine: rarceneaux@lsbme.la.gov

Maine

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Governor Paul R. LePage: send your letter directly here.

Commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services, Mary C. Mayhew: mary.mayhew@maine.gov

Chief Operating Officer and State Health Officer: peggie.d.lawrence@maine.gov

Dennis E. Smith, JD, Executive Director, Maine Board of Medicine: margaret.duhamel@maine.gov

Maryland

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Governor Larry Hogan: http://governor.maryland.gov/mail/default.asp

Ben Steffen, Executive Director of MD Health Care Commission: ben.steffen@maryland.gov

Dennis R. Schrader, Secretary of Health & Mental Hygiene: dennis.schrader@maryland.gov

Christine A. Farrelly, Executive Director, Maryland Board of Medicine: mbpmail@rcn.com

Massachusetts

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Charlie Baker, Governor: GOffice@state.ma.us

Commissioner of Health, Monica Bharel: Renee.walsh@state.MA.us

Secretary of Health and Human Resources, Marylou Sudders: Teresa.Reynolds@massmail.state.ma.us

George Zachos, JD, Executive Director, Massachusetts Board of Medicine: borim.info@state.ma.us

If you have family and friends in Massachusetts, please ask that they write in support of these bills as well. Support from MA state residents is hugely important.

Please also go here and submit your story to the Chairs and Members of the Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse in Massachusetts.

The hearing for these bills will be held at the Massachusetts State House, Beacon Street, Boston, MA in September (Date/Time: To Be Announced). Anyone wishing to testify should be prepared to give a 3-minute speech.  This is a Massachusetts Bill, so you should be a Massachusetts resident to speak. The more Massachusetts residents that appear to testify in support of the bills, the better. If you are attending, please e-mail gcburns55@aol.com. Follow the Mass Benzo Bill Facebook Page to stay connected.

Michigan

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Governor Richard Snyder:  migov@exec.state.mi.us

Health director Jim Haveman’s assistant: RichardsD@michigan.gov

Lt Gov Brian Calley of Mental Health and Wellness Commission: brian.calley@michigan.gov

Cheryl W. Pezon, JD, Manager, Boards & Committees Section, Michigan Board of Medicine: bplhelp@michigan.gov

Minnesota

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Governor Mark Dayton: mark.dayton@state.mn.us

Commissioner of Health, Edward Ehlinger: Health.commissioner@state.mn.us

Human services: DHS.info@state.mn.us

Ruth M. Martinez, MA, Executive Director, Minnesota Board of Medicine: Medical.Board@state.mn.us

Mississippi

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Governor Phillip Bryant: governor@governor.state.ms.us

Mississippi Health Communications:  lsharlot@msdh.state.ms.us

Mississippi Health Policy and Planning:  nicole.litton@msdh.state.ms.us

John K. Hall, MD, JD, Executive Director, Mississippi Board of Medicine: send your letter directly here

Missouri

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Governor Eric Greitens: send your letter here.

Director’s office, mental health commission: mhcommission@dmh.mo.gov

Dept of health: info@health.mo.gov

Missouri Board of Medicine: healingarts@pr.mo.gov

Montana

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Governor Steve Bullock:  bullock@stevebullock.com and governor@state.mt.us

Sheila Hogan, Director, Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services:  sheilahogan@mt.gov and bkincheloe@mt.gov

Ian Marquand, Executive Director, Montana Board of Medicine: dlibsdmed@mt.gov

Nebraska

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Governor Pete Ricketts: jodee@mail.state.ne.us

Thomas L. Williams MD, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health and Human Services Director, Division of Public Health: Tom.Williams@nebraska.gov and thomas.rauner@nebraska.gov

Kathie Lueke, Program Manager, Nebraska Board of Medicine: kathie.lueke@nebraska.gov

Nevada

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Governor Brian Sandoval: governor@govmail.state.nv.us

Cody L. Phinney, Administrator, Division of Public and Behavioral Health: scottjones@health.nv.gov and  jtucker@health.nv.gov

Edward O. Cousineau, JD, Executive Director, Nevada Board of Medicine:   nsbme@medboard.nv.gov

New Hampshire

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Governor Chris Sununu: sununu.social@nh.gov

Marcella Jordan Bobinsky, MPH, Acting Director, Division of Public Health Services: Mbobinsky@dhhs.state.nh.us

Peter Danles, Executive Director, New Hampshire Board of Medicine: peter.danles@nh.gov

Alisa Druzba, Section Administrator: Adruzba@dhhs.state.nh.us

New Jersey

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Governor Chris Christie: govchristie@gov.state.nj.us

Cathleen D. Bennett, Acting Commissioner of New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services: send your letter here.

William V. Roeder, JD, Executive Director, New Jersey Board of Medicine: askconsumeraffairs@dca.lps.state.nj.us

New Mexico

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Governor Susana Martinez:  susana.martinez2@state.nm.us

Secretary of Health, Lynn Gallagher:  lynn.gallagher@state.nm.us

Dr. Victor Acquista, Medical Director of Dept of Health:  victor.acquista@state.nm.us

Gabriella Romero, Board Administrator, New Mexico Board of Medicine: nmbme@state.nm.us 

New York

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Governor Andrew Cuomo : gov.cuomo@chamber.state.ny.us

Commissioner of Health, Howard Zucker, M.D.:  dohweb@health.ny.gov

Lisa Ullman, Director of Center for Health Care Policy and Resource Department Center: lisa.ullman@health.ny.gov and cecelia.taylor@health.ny.gov

Stephen J. Boese, Executive Secretary, New York Board of Medicine: opmc@health.ny.gov

North Carolina

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Governor Roy  Cooper: governor.office@governor.nc.us.gov

Secretary of Health and Human Services, Mandy Cohen, M.D.: mandy.cohen@dhhs.nc.gov

Allison Owen, MPA, Acting Director (NC Dept Health and Human services):  Cindy.Leighton@dhhs.nc.gov

R. David Henderson, JD, CMBE, Chief Executive, North Carolina Board of Medicine: send your letter here.

North Dakota

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Governor Doug  Burgum: governor@state.nd.us

State Health Director, Mylynn K. Tufte: mylynntufte@nd.gov

Bonnie Storbakken, Executive Secretary of North Dakota Board of Medicine: send your letter here.

Ohio

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Governor John Kasich: www.state.oh.us/gov

Ohio Department of Health, Lance D. Himes, Interim Director of Health: Director@odh.ohio.gov

A.J. Groeber, Executive Director, State Medical Board of Ohio: contact@med.ohio.gov

Oklahoma

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Governor Mary Fallin: governor@oklaosf.state.ok.us

Commissioner of Health Terry Cline, Ph.D.: terry.cline@health.ok.gov

Lyle R. Kelsey, MBA, CAE, CMBE, Executive Director of Oklahoma Board of Medicine: lkelsey@okmedicalboard.org

Oregon

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Governor Kate Brown: representative.citizen@state.or.us

Lillian Shirley, BSN, MPH, MPA, Director for the Oregon Public Health Division: lillian.shirley@state.or.us

Oregon Board of Medicine: omb.info@state.or.us

Pennsylvania

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Governor Tom Wolf: governor@state.pa.us

Secretary of Health Karen Murphy: karmurphy@pa.gov

Suzanne M. Zerbe, Administrator, Pennsylvania Board of Medicine: ST-MEDICINE@PA.GOV

Rhode Island

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Governor Gina Raimondo: rigov@gov.state.ri.us

Nicole Alexander-ScottMD, MPH, Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health: Nicole.alexander-scott@health.ri.gov

James V. McDonald, MD, MPH, Chief Administrative Officer of Rhode Island Medical Board: james.mcdonald@health.ri.gov?subject=Inquiry%20from%20website

South Carolina

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Governor Henry McMaster: governor@govoapp.state.sc.us

Catherine Heigel, Agency Director of Department of Health: heigelc@dhec.sc.gov and info@dhec.sc.gov

John H. Magill, State Director, South Carolina Department of Mental Health: tracy.lapointe@scdmh.org

Sheridon H. Spoon, Esq., Administrator, South Carolina Board of Medicine: medboard@llr.sc.gov

South Dakota

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Governor – Dennis Daugaard  sdgov@gov.state.sd.us
Kim Malsam-Rysdon, Interim Secretary of Health, South Dakota Department of Health Jacob.parsons@state.sd.us and DOH.info@state.sd.us
Margaret B. Hansen, PA-C, MPAS, CMBE, Executive Director of South Dakota Board of Medicine: sdbmoe@state.sd.us
Tennessee

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Governor Bill Haslam: vbill.haslam@state.tn.us 
Commissioner of Health, John J. Dreyzehner tn.health@tn.gov and Ann.cranford@.tn.gov
Commissioner of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Marie Williams:  marie.williams@tn.gov and OCA.TDMHSAS@tn.gov
Maegan Carr Martin, JD, Executive Director of Tennessee Board of Medicine: tn.health@tn.gov?subject=I%20have%20a%20question%20about
Texas

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Governor – Greg Abbott governor@state.tx.us
John Hellerstedt, M.D., Commissioner, Texas Department of State Health Services: Clay.Daniel@dshs.state.tx.us and contact@hhsc.state.tx.us
Scott M. Freshour, JD, Interim Executive Director of Texas Board of Medicine: verifcic@tmb.state.tx.us
Utah

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Governor – Gary Richard Herbert: governor@utah.gov
Marc Babitz, M.D., Director, Utah Department of Health: mbabitz@utah.gov and elolsen@utah.gov
Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (Attn: Director of DSAMH): dsamh@utah.gov
Larry Marx, Bureau Manager of Utah Board of Medicine: doplbureau1@utah.gov
Mark Steinagel, Director of Utah Board of Medicine: msteinagel@utah.gov
Vermont

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Governor Peter Shumlin: pshumlin@state.vt.us
Henry Chen, MD, Commissioner, Vermont Department of Health: harry.chen@ahs.state.vt.us

John A. Olson, Chief, Office of Rural Health & Primary Care, Vermont Department of Health: john.olson@ahs.state.vt.us

Vermont Blueprint for Health, Executive Director, Beth Tanzman: beth.tanzman@vermont.gov

Mary Kate M. Mohlman, PhD, MS, Director of Health Reform: MaryKate.Mohlman@vermont.gov

David K. Herlihy, Esq., Executive Director of Vermont Board of Medicine: david.herlihy@vermont.gov

Virginia

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Governor Terry McAuliffe: send your letter here.
Commissioner of Health, Marissa Levine: marissa.levine@vdh.virginia.gov
Secretary of Health and Human Resources, Joe Flores  HealthAndHumanResources@governor.virginia.gov
William L. Harp, MD, Executive Director of Virginia Board of Medicine: william.harp@dhp.virginia.gov and medbd@dhp.virginia.gov
Washington

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Governor Jay Inslee:  governor.gregoire@governor.wa.gov
Renee Fullerton, Program Manager, Department of Health: renee.fullerton@doh.wa.gov and medical.commission@doh.wa.gov 
Secretary of Health, John Wiesman:  secretary@doh.wa.gov

Melanie de Leon, JD, Executive Director, Department of Health (Board of Medicine): melanie.deleon@doh.wa.gov

West Virginia

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Governor Jim Justice: governor@state.wv.us
Commissioner of Department of Health and Human Resources, Rahul Gupta:  rahul.gupta@wv.gov 
Cabinet Secretary of Department of Health and Human Resources, Bill J. Crouch:  dhhrsecretary@wv.gov
Mark Spangler, MA, LPC, Executive Director of W. VA Board of Medicine: Mark.A.Spangler@wv.gov
Diana K. Shepard, CMBE, Executive Director of W. VA Board of Osteopathic Medicine:  Diana.K.Shepard@wv.gov
Wisconsin

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Governor Scott Walker: govgeneral@wisconsin.gov
Karen McKeown, RN, MSN, State Health Officer and Administrator: Bejack.lor@dhs.wisconsin.gov and

Jaime.Olson@dhs.wisconsin.gov

 Attn: Director of Division of Care and Treatment Services: DHSwebmaster@dhs.wisconsin.gov
Tom H. Ryan, JD, MPA, Executive Director, Wisconsin Board of Medicine: thomas.ryan@wisconsin.gov
Wyoming

State Senator and Representative can be found here (enter your address on the front page)

Governor Matthew Mead: governor@missc.state.wy.us
 Medical Directors, Wyoming Department of Health: medical_directors@lists.health.wyo.gov 
Sharla Allen, M.S.H.A., Deputy Administrator, Wyoming Department of Health: Keri.Wagner@wyo.gov

Kevin D. Bohnenblust, JD, CMBE, Executive Director of Wyoming Board of Medicine: kevin.bohnenblust@wyo.gov

 

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