For the past thirteen years, the WCAAP has been extremely fortunate to have been represented in Olympia by Laurie Lippold. We are sad to see her step down as our lobbyist, but we wish her well in her next endeavors and know she will continue to do great things for children and adolescents. She will continue as Director of Public Policy at Partners for Our Children.
During Laurie’s time with the chapter, there has been significant turnover in physician leadership and in staff. Through it all, our greatest strength has been our legislative advocacy. Laurie’s continuity with our chapter has played a large part in that success. Laurie is well-respected and well-liked on both sides of the aisle in Olympia, and that has certainly bolstered our chapter’s strong reputation in the capitol. Legislators truly look to us as the voice for child health, safety, and wellness.
During Laurie’s tenure we have celebrated many legislative victories including:
- Creating the Washington Vaccine Association to maintain a state program for universal purchase of vaccines.
- Ensuring payment for developmental and autism screens for children on Medicaid.
- Banning toxins in baby bottles and children’s clothing.
- Continuation of the home visiting program.
- State funding for Reach Out and Read.
- Providing psychiatric resources to physicians in remote areas of our state.
- Updated distracted driving laws.
- Bringing children’s behavioral health to the forefront for policy makers, including ensuring payment for adolescent and maternal depression screens, and increasing the child and adolescent psychiatry workforce.
- Establishing paid family medical leave insurance.
We thank Laurie for her hard work on these and many other issues in advocacy for Washington’s children, their families, and their pediatricians.
On a personal note, I will always be grateful for Laurie’s mentorship and ongoing friendship. When Laurie first became our legislative liaison, I was still in residency at Seattle Children’s. As a resident representative to the chapter’s board, Laurie guided me through visits with legislators and testimony before the state Senate. I continued to learn more from her each of the next twelve years. Her professionalism is paired with an undeniable passion for children’s health and wellness. Her complete dedication to improving the lives of kids and those who care for them is inspiring. I know that many pediatricians in our state feel as I do, that we are stronger advocates for having worked with Laurie.
Rupin Thakkar, MD, FAAP