Alexander To Probe Deadly Meningitis Outbreak At Senate Hearing On Nov. 15

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tn.) on Thursday announced that he will participate in a U.S. Senate committee hearing on Nov. 15, to examining state and federal oversight of the New England Compounding Center (NECC), the source of the contaminated steroid injections that have caused a meningitis outbreak nationwide and led to 13 deaths in Tennessee.

“This hearing is an important step to learning as much as we can about this tragic outbreak so that we can ensure that it never happens again. Tennessee officials identified the outbreak and responded quickly to the cases in our state, and I’m asking for their insights to help legislators in our next steps,” he said.

In the new Congress, Senator Alexander is likely to be ranking Republican on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which is holding the hearing entitled “Pharmacy Compounding: Implications of the 2012 Meningitis Outbreak.”

The senator sent letters to the Tennessee Department of Health, the Tennessee Board of Pharmacy, the Tennessee Pharmacists Association, Tennessee Medical Association, the Tennessee Hospital Association, and the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners, inviting them to submit testimony for the record on this issue.

Senator Alexander, along with a bipartisan group of senators serving on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, last month sent letters to the FDA, Massachusetts Board of Pharmacy, and NECC owners, seeking information related to the outbreak.

He also joined Senator Bob Corker (R-Tn.) in sending a letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg asking for clarity regarding existing laws governing oversight of compounding pharmacies like NECC and information about any inspections of NECC and actions taken since the FDA warned the center in December 2006.

   

Legislation Calls For State Board Of Professional Counselors To Promulgate Their Own Code Of Ethics For Licensure

State Senator Jack Johnson announced Monday that he has introduced legislation requiring the State Board of Professional Counselors to promulgate their own code of ethics to be used for licensure requirements under Tennessee law.  Senate Bill 1 would change the current state requirement that automatically accepts the code of ethics from the American Counseling Association, ... (click for more)

Autism Society Has Christmas Party Saturday

The Autism Society of East Tennessee will be partnering with the Chattanooga Autism Center again to hold their 7th annual Christmas party at the Furry Friends Farm in Rock Springs. The party will be on Saturday from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at 1750 Highway 95. The party will be for children with autism and their families, and every registered child will receive ... (click for more)

Lawsuit Says Girl Received Severe Traumatic Brain Injury In Woodmore Bus Wreck

A new lawsuit in the tragic Woodmore Elementary School bus wreck said one girl on the bus suffered a severe traumatic brain injury. Attorneys Joseph Fried and Michael Goldberg of Fried Rogers Goldberg LLC filed a lawsuit in Hamilton County Circuit Court on behalf of the minor daughter of Shanquatta Byrd. The bus driver, Johnthony Walker, was transporting 37 students from ... (click for more)

Officer Who Was Shot Returned Fire; Is Recovering Well; Shooter Still On Loose

Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher said Monday morning that the officer who was shot three times on Thursday is recovering well.   Chief Fletcher said the officer was wearing a bullet-proof vest and one bullet hit the vest, which protected him during the shooting.  The officer was able to return fire, although Chief Fletcher would not comment on how many bullets ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Couldn't Manage Public Education

I have been reading the buzz about Signal Mountain and other small municipalities considering a move to form their own school district within their municipal boundaries.  It is quite the comedy hour considering the notion that small cities that for decades could not even manage small sewer systems or 911 districts, are somehow going to do a better job with public education ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Abolish Bail For Poor

Our terribly overcrowded Hamilton County Jail may get some help from an unsuspected corner – the Obama administration is tackling the fact that right now over 450,000 people are in our country’s jails because they are too poor to pay for bail. It is a violation of the Constitution to “punish people for their poverty.” As the Eighth Amendment provides, “… excessive bail ought not ... (click for more)