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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: July 26, 2019 04:13 PM
From: Representative Valerie S. Gaydos
To: All House members
Subject: Recognizing September 2019 as "Self-Care Awareness Month" in Pennsylvania
In the near future I will be introducing a resolution to recognize September 2019 as “Self-Care Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania.

According to the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 60 percent of adults in the U.S. have a chronic disease, with 40 percent having two or more. Chronic illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, chronic lung disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease are not only the leading causes of death and disability in the U.S., but they are also responsible for 90 percent of the nation’s $3.3 trillion in annual health care costs.

By practicing self-care to reduce many of the effects and symptoms of chronic disease the cost of health care can also be significantly reduced. Studies have shown that every dollar spent on over-the-counter medicines can save more than $7 dollars for the health care system, and results in more than $146 billion in annual savings. Over-the-counter medical devices, for monitoring, treatment, and testing, generate a further $8 billion in savings annually. In addition to cutting costs, evidence increasingly suggests that patient engagement in self-care, particularly with respect to coping with chronic disease, can improve medical outcomes.

The increase in availability of medicines that were formally only available as prescriptions and the technological advancements that provide affordable in-home medical devices for monitoring and testing make self-care easier and more efficient than ever. Additionally, enhancing professional care with patient self-care allows trained health care professionals to perform tasks that best fit their expertise.

Please join me in sponsoring this resolution to encourage the citizens of Pennsylvania to take advantage of the availability of self-care to improve personal and public health, save personal and public funds, and to strengthen the sustainability of the Pennsylvania health care system.

Introduced as HR468