WASHINGTON– The American Medical Association (AMA) today presented U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) with the Dr. Nathan Davis Award for Outstanding Government Service. A former governor, university president and U.S. Secretary of Education with a bipartisan approach to legislating, Sen. Alexander has spearheaded significant health care bills, including the “21st Century Cures Act,” which included provisions to help get treatment and cures to patients faster and comprehensive mental health legislation, and the “SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act” – a legislative package to address opioid use disorders.
Since 2015, Sen. Alexander has served as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. Formerly a member of the Senate Republican Leadership team, Sen. Alexander stepped down from that position to forge relationships, and build bipartisan consensus on important issues.
“During a career dedicated to public service, Sen. Alexander has been a consensus-builder, leader, and bipartisan workhorse on a range of public health issues, leaving a lasting impression in Tennessee, Washington and across our country,” said AMA Board Chair Jack Resneck, Jr., M.D. “He has forged strong relationships and leveraged them to pass vital legislation that is confronting the opioid abuse epidemic and providing physicians with the tools they need to treat their patients.”
Sen. Alexander’s strong leadership was instrumental in passing the comprehensive package to address the opioid epidemic, the “SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act” (H.R. 6). During negotiations for the passage of this key legislation Sen. Alexander worked closely with Ranking Member, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and engaged stakeholders in productive discussions in developing the bill. Specifically, Sen. Alexander directed his efforts to passing the most comprehensive legislation, while, protecting the ability of states to work directly with physicians on use of their prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) databases, protecting patient privacy, and prioritizing new research for the treatment of pain and opioid use disorder.
Sen. Alexander, who was nominated by the Tennessee Medical Association, was one of eight honorees chosen this year to receive the Dr. Nathan Davis Award for Outstanding Government Service. The award, named after the founding father of the AMA, recognizes elected and career officials in federal, state or municipal service whose outstanding contributions have promoted the art and science of medicine and the betterment of public health.
Sen. Alexander was elected to the Senate in 2002, and is currently serving his third term. The AMA presented him the Dr. Nathan Davis Award as part of the AMA’s National Advocacy Conference.