Advocacy in Georgia
Senate Passes Bill 352 Establishing the Georgia Council on Lupus Education and Awareness
On Wednesday, February 19th, the Senate voted and passed SB 352 creating the first Georgia Council on Lupus Education and Awareness within the Department of Community Health. The Council will consist of six members appointed by the Governor, the Health Commissioner, Speaker of the House and the Lieutenant Governor. These members must include a physician who treats lupus and a patient.
Two of the initial members appointed by the Governor will serve for one year, all other appointments will be for two years. The council will select a chairperson from among its members.
The duties of the Council will include:
- Initially investigating the level of education concerning lupus in Georgia, to be posted on its website
- Developing information on lupus endorsed by government agencies, to be posted on its website
- Developing a directory of lupus related health care services, to be posted on the Department’s website
The Department may distribute such information, subject to appropriations or access to other public or private funds. The Council is required to prepare an annual report on its activities and, as it deems appropriate, recommendations for legislative action. The Council may solicit and accept donations, gifts, grants, property, or matching funds from any public or private source for the use of the Council in performing its functions.
We are so grateful for the wonderful leadership of Senator Renee Unterman and our passionate advocacy chair, Kim Schofield and the patients and families who joined us at our Lupus Awareness Day. Many met their legislators and heard our resolution in the Senate. With every step in our advocacy journey, we have seen small victories and we are moving the needle of lupus awareness within the Georgia State legislature toward future appropriations for research and lupus education.
Lupus is enormously prevalent in our state, as confirmed in the recent report from Dr. Sam Lim and Emory University which is positioned to become the lupus research capitol in the nation and beyond. Read More about the Georgia Lupus Registry, Georgians Organized Against Lupus (GOAL), and the Lowance Center for Human Immunology at Emory University.
What does a Lupus Activist do?
A lupus activist engages in educating their federal, state, and locally elected officials about the cruel mystery of lupus. Whether through a letter, email, phone call, or face-to-face meetings with elected officials, lupus activists are the vital voice on legislation and policies issues impacting people with lupus and their families. An activist’s voice makes a difference.
Who can be a Lupus Activist?
Anyone who cares about lupus! You don't have to be an expert in government affairs to share your knowledge and story about lupus.