Srinivas is best candidate

To the editor:

The mental health care crisis is one of the most urgent challenges facing our state, and I am voting for Dr. Megan Srinivas because she is the candidate qualified to overcome it.

Megan was raised here in Fort Dodge with the Iowa values of empathy and service. She cares deeply about people and her community, and will work with Republicans, Democrats and independents to fight for the best interests of Iowans.

As a physician at the Community Health Center who has treated mental health patients for years, Megan is personally experienced in delivering quality care. Unfortunately, right now, just because a mental health professional has their name on your chart doesn’t mean they have done any personal care.

Megan will fight to incentivize mental health professionals to provide accessible services close to the patient’s own residence and support network of family and friends. The loss of mental health care providers in rural Iowa is no coincidence; it is a decision made by business people who realized it is more profitable to make rural Iowans drive for hours to receive necessary care, even if that means the quality of care suffers or the care itself becomes inaccessible. Megan will take those decisions away from private companies and put them back in the hands of doctors and patients.

The current legislature passed new mental health care regulations, but didn’t provide a single dollar of state funds to make the changes. Megan understands that medical professionals need funding to provide the right care. As a medical student, she saw the effects of budget cuts on our state’s health care services: patients who once managed their conditions successfully with semi-annual checkups now cycle through emergency rooms, always in crisis. Not only does this cost the taxpayers more, it means Iowans will suffer and many will not survive what should be a treatable condition.

Please join me in voting for Megan, the candidate with the experience and plan to fix Iowa’s mental health care crisis.

Donna Shekey

Fort Dodge