Senator Catherine Pugh: Making Telemedicine a Household Reality

Senator Catherine Pugh: Making Telemedicine a Household Reality


For the past 15 years, Catherine Pugh has been a dedicated public servant to the residents of Maryland, and is having an indelible impact on the national stage.  First elected in 1999 as a member of the Baltimore City Council, Pugh was appointed to an open seat in the Maryland House of Delegates in 2005, where she served for one year prior to winning a seat in the Maryland State Senate in 2006.  Currently in her second term, Senator Pugh sits on the Finance Committee – which makes decisions about every industry in the state, including banking, insurance, healthcare, and the state pension fund – and is the Deputy Majority Leader of the Senate, where she has garnered a reputation as the state’s leading advocate for Cyber Security and Telemedicine expansion.

This year alone, Senator Pugh has sponsored several pieces of legislation that seek to increase telemedicine and cybersecurity throughout the state.  Notably, the Maryland Medical Assistance Program – Telemedicine provides a funding and reimbursement mechanism for healthcare providers offering healthcare services through the use of telemedicine. Similarly, the Economic Development – Maryland Technology Development Corporation – Cybersecurity Investment Fund establishes the Cybersecurity Investment Fund in the Maryland Technology Development Corporation as a special, nonlapsing fund to “provide seed and early-stage funding for emerging technology companies in the state focused on cybersecurity and cybersecurity technology product development.”  Both measures have been approved by Maryland’s Governor.

According to Senator Pugh, “the expansion of telemedicine to people in rural and urban areas is essential because it helps to provide opportunities for care as the future of medicine begins to expand.”  In addition to her efforts in the Maryland State Legislature, Senator Pugh plays an active role in increasing her national colleagues’ understanding about the transformative power of technology through her leadership in both the National Black Caucus of State Legislators and the National Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women.

Senator Pugh was instrumental in NOBEL Women launching a nation-wide telemedicine/telehealth initiative, and as President-Elect of NBCSL she has worked with the organization in making telemedicine a top priority, and has authored resolutions modeled after legislation in Maryland that help provide a roadmap for how best to role out broadband-enabled healthcare applications and practices across the country.

“Oftentimes when I’m doing legislation,” Senator Pugh told Politic365 in an exclusive interview, “it’s not just for my local community. It’s also about helping to set a progressive agenda for the African American community, as well as the broader community as well.”

Senator Catherine Pugh is a prime example of a servant leader. “It’s my responsibility to help advance the agenda for African Americans at the legislative level because they have such a great impact on communities at the local and state levels,” she says. From the state house to your house, she’s bringing telemedicine to everyone’s front door.