Tulsa, Telehealth, and the Carl Henn Trail: June 24, 2020

June 24, 2020
Dear Friend:
Despite the unexpectedly small crowd at President Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa, many of his supporters put themselves and their families at risk by refusing to wear a mask and maintain social distance. In Oklahoma and elsewhere, the number of Coronavirus cases has risen, reminding us to stay vigilant and take the necessary precautions. Please make sure you are protecting yourself and others when you leave home.

Allowing Telehealth For Students Too!
Just because a bill is signed doesn’t mean that the work is done. My emergency telehealth bill allows Marylanders to connect with their health care providers from home via video or email without the risk of visiting a doctor or clinic. This has been exceptionally helpful to limit in-person contact during COVID-19. In order to have the same access, rural and lower-income students need a tweak to the guidelines produced by our State Department of Education. Unfortunately, the State Superintendent has responded to our request with unexpected resistance. I will continue to advocate for this important change so that all students will have accessible health care– even when schools are closed.

Enjoying a Change of Pace
Getting some fresh air to decompress after a hectic week has become a staple in my Coronavirus routine. One trail I especially enjoy is dedicated to the late Carl Henn– who died six years ago when 9-1-1 failed. His passing inspired my work to modernize our aging 9-1-1 infrastructure and ultimately chair the State’s NG911 Commission. I’ve enjoyed taking the time to reflect on Carl’s legacy during my walks. It is essential that we stay healthy, both physically and mentally, during this stressful time.

Extending the Health Insurance Deadline
A few weeks ago, I reminded you of the last day to enroll in a state-offered health insurance program. Maryland Health Connection just announced that the deadline was extended to July 15th. If you or someone you know is uninsured, please urge them to sign up for a plan. It is imperative that during the current health crisis, we are all covered.

Scrabble: Words Matter… & They Can Hurt
As you may know, Scrabble is one of my favorite hobbies. From frequent matches and weekly tournaments, to my role in luring the next North American Scrabble Players Association (NASPA) Championships to Baltimore (now in Summer 2021), I am deeply involved in the Scrabble community. I recently had the opportunity to speak on the NASPA podcast— a real treat for me! Given current events, one of the topics we discussed was whether slurs should be removed from the Scrabble Dictionary. Feel free to check it out if you’re interested!

You can find resources and stay up-to-date on the latest COVID-19 and community news onmy website. If you’re still struggling with Unemployment Insurance, we have created a form to gather all needed information to expedite your case with the Department of Labor. You can also follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for photos and posts. I hope you’ll join me for a Virtual Birthday Fundraising Concert featuring national touring singer/songwriters next Thursday, July 2nd!

Cheryl C. Kagan
State Senator, District 17
(Gaithersburg & Rockville)
P.S.: Congratulations to the 2020 District 17 Senatorial Scholars! My Scholarship Selection Committee and I were inspired by the accomplishments and community engagement of these students. We are delighted to help them achieve their future academic and career goals.