DCMS Meets with Terra Costa Howard

District 48 Illinois State Representative Terra Costa Howard (D-Lombard) joined the DCMS Governmental Affairs Committee's Zoom meeting in June, participating in discussions about telehealth, pandemic risks to the viability of our health care system, COVID-19 spikes as states reopen, and life as a legislator under the state's stay at home directives.

A freshman legislator, Costa Howard took office in January 2019. Her district includes Glen Ellyn, Lombard, and parts of Wheaton, Lisle and Villa Park. While her first session was marked by intense legislative activity, this year saw the balance dramatically shift to constituent services as the pandemic took hold.

Among those reaching out to Costa Howard are health care workers concerned about lost income and jobs because of the crisis. "I don't know the answer," Sasha Demos, MD, told Costa Howard, "but this problem is likely to persist and it places physicians and other health care workers at risk not only in terms of health, but also financially."

Asked about their experience with telehealth, Committee members endorsed the practice and voiced optimism that it would remain a meaningful part of medical practice going forward. Costa Howard shared her disappointment that an Illinois telehealth bill failed in the State Senate after passing the House, and promised to revisit the topic.

Costa Howard joined the Committee in expressing concern about the public's growing pandemic fatigue. "How do we convince people that the virus is still here and a risk?" she asked. There were no ready answers beyond the expectation that the pandemic would speak for itself.