Greenfield state senator receives national award

INDIANAPOLIS — A Greenfield lawmaker has earned recognition as a champion for family caregivers.

Sen. Mike Crider, R-Greenfield, was recently named an AARP Capitol Caregiver for a law he sponsored in 2016 that allows doctors to refill prescriptions without requiring homebound patients to come in for an appointment.

AARP, a nonprofit, nonpartisan social welfare organization, annually recognizes elected officials from across the United States who support policies that make it easier for Hoosiers to take care of a sick or aging loved one, making it possible for older people to live in their homes longer.

Crider earned the honor for his work last year on House Enrolled Act 1263, which allows physicians, physician assistants, advance practice nurses and optometrists to prescribe certain non-addictive medications during remote patient visits.

Before July 2016, physicians couldn’t prescribe drugs through telemedicine without the patient first visiting a doctor in person, which Crider told his fellow lawmakers places an unnecessary burden on caregivers.

According to AARP, more than 837,000 Hoosiers provide care for their older parents, spouses and other loved ones. They help with bathing and dressing, cooking meals, managing finances, transportation, grocery shopping and more. Many even perform medical tasks like taking care of wounds, giving injections and managing medication.

“Telemedicine holds the promise of access to health care and long-term services … in new ways,” Sarah Waddle, Indiana AARP state director, said in a press release.

Crider, who has penned dozens of health care-related bills the past five years, said he’s honored to be recognized for work on the law, which he also worked to expand this year to include people with mental health illnesses.

With advances in technology and providers’ willingness to participate, Indiana’s telemedicine law will provide better health access for Hoosiers, he said.

He hopes the legislation is making a difference in the lives of Hoosiers who take on the task of caring for a sick loved one. He knows it’s not easy, he said.

“I’m an advocate for telemedicine because it makes everyday life easier for Hoosier families,” he said.

AARP estimates the hours Hoosier caregivers put in managing their loved one’s health could be valued at $9.4 billion, making it imperative lawmakers pass legislation that supports those efforts.

“Family caregivers are the backbone of our Indiana’s care system, and they need our support,” Waddle said. “This legislation is just another example of our efforts to provide help for family caregivers across our state.”

About the award

Each year, AARP recognizes public officials who work to improve the lives of senior citizens and those who care for them. Sen. Mike Crider, R-Greenfield, received the Capitol Caregiver Award, which honors those who:

  • Support caregivers
  • Advance senior-friendly legislation
  • Raise awareness of issues affecting the aging
Author photo
Samm Quinn is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3275 or squinn@greenfieldreporter.com.