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Welcome

I'm Elizabeth Steiner Hayward and it is my honor to represent the people of Oregon's Senate District 17.  In addition to serving as an Oregon State Senator, I work as a family physician at OHSU where I provide primary care to both children and adults.  My husband, Michael, and I live with our two teenage daughters and my mother-in-law in unincorporated Multnomah County.  Our oldest daughter and her partner live in northeast Portland.

As a doctor and a mother, I understand the hopes of Oregon’s families.  I know that the people of Senate District 17 want their children to have access to high-quality, affordable health care.  I know they want great schools and affordable higher education.  I know they want Oregon to have a robust, sustainable economy.  I know because I want the same things when I think about my family, patients, and neighbors.

I strongly believe that everyone deserves access to high quality primary health care.  So, in 2002, I started working as a citizen advocate for the Oregon Academy of Family Physicians.  During the 2005 legislative session, I helped pass a bill that requires health insurers to cover Clinical Breast Examinations for women.  In 2011, as the President of the Oregon Academy of Family Physicians, I helped lead a large coalition of healthcare organizations to pass two landmark health reform bills that will improve access to high-quality primary care for all Oregonians.  In December of that same year I was appointed to the Oregon State Senate, where I have continued to work to improve our health care system by expanding access, increasing the quality of care, and reducing cost.

Currently, I am deeply concerned about the state of our education system.  Many of you have contacted me to talk about the increased class sizes in our local schools.  Frankly, the situation is unacceptable.  Participating in the review of our Regional ESD’s I have learned that there are ways that we can better collaborate, consolidate and make more efficient use of limited resources, so we may focus more resources on our children’s classrooms, where we know we can make the difference.

I am also concerned about the slow pace of our economic recovery.  I believe that small businesses are the heart of our economy, so we must do more to help them succeed.  I want to strengthen the connections between small businesses and our Community Colleges to make sure people are getting the relevant job skills they need.  I want to help ensure that local employers have access to capital and loans to create jobs.  I also want to reduce healthcare costs for small businesses to ensure that they can provide family wage jobs.

As I go door to door in our communities, I have found that some of the best ideas come from my constituents.  I have already heard from many of you, voicing your concerns and ideas about Oregon's future.  I encourage you to continue to contact me with your questions, concerns, and ideas.  Together we can make progress for all Oregonians.

Sincerely,

Elizabeth Steiner Hayward MD