We are fortunate to have a number of world-class medical facilities here in Ohio - besides providing essential heath care services, these hospitals are also working to advance our knowledge and treatment capabilities for diseases such as cancer. Recently, my colleagues and I in the Ohio Senate passed legislation that will help attract and retain high-quality individuals in our state to continue this important work. House Bill 292 deals mainly with genetic counselors. These professionals work with health care providers to provide risk estimates for disease and help to develop and interpret complex testing procedures. While many of these individuals have specialized degrees and expertise, there are currently no state regulations in place to ensure these professionals have adequate training. As many patients, doctors and researchers come to rely on the expertise of genetic counselors, it is essential that these providers meet certain standards. House Bill 292 establishes certain education and certification qualifications in order for a person to obtain a genetic counselor license and also requires continuing education. The bill also creates a new visiting clinical professional certificate. Many physicians from around the world seek advanced professional development and education through Ohio's hospitals and doctors. This new certificate would allow a temporary certificate to be issued to physicians who meet certain education requirements and would enable them to practice medicine and surgery as part of their participation in a clinical professional development program. In addition, the bill also makes changes to Ohio's clinical research faculty certificate. These certificates allow internationally-trained doctors who come to Ohio to teach or perform research to practice medicine within certain limitations. Previously, these certificates were valid for only three years. House Bill 292 allows these certificates to be renewed for additional three-year periods, enabling physicians to continue their medical research work. Ohio's medical institutions are a valuable asset for our state, and ensuring that elite physicians and researchers can continue to come here and practice will help keep Ohio at the forefront of medicine. The common sense changes made in House Bill 292 will help us to attract and retain world-class medical personnel, which in turn will improve the quality of healthcare for all Ohioans. As always, I welcome your thought and opinions on any of the matters we are currently discussing at the Statehouse. You can reach my office by phone at (614) 466-0626, by email at Oelslager@ohiosenate.gov or by writing Senator Scott Oelslager, Ohio Statehouse, 1 Capitol Square, Columbus, OH 43215. I look forward to hearing from you
Senator Oelslager represents Ohio's 29th District which contains a portion of Stark County. He serves as Chairman of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. For more information, please visit http://OhioSenate.gov/Oelslager.
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