Cape Gazette

Retired pediatrician endorses Staton

By Bernard J. Clark | Oct 12, 2012

I am a senior citizen, retired pediatrician and now small business owner living in Lewes. I am writing to support Andy Staton in his bid to become our state senator in the newly created 6th Senatorial District. I think Andy is the right candidate at the right time to represent the 6th district. Here are my reasons why.

First Andy is a local businessman. He has worked hard to establish a successful business in Sussex County and that experience is all-important as he works to improve the economy of our district and all of southern Delaware. He understands first hand the impact the downturn in the economy has had on quality of life in Sussex County and has proposed several initiatives to restore a vibrant growing economy, that include specific plans to improve transportation and promote job creation.

Second as a physician and pediatrician, I am aware of the healthcare needs in lower Delaware. Despite the services offered by local hospitals and local health care professionals, southern Delaware remains underserved in health care. This is critically true for the youngest and oldest of our citizens. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation reports that the national benchmark ratio of primary care physician to population should be one doctor for every 631 people.

In Sussex County there is one doctor for every 1,208 people; literally half the physician workforce needed. With a projected population increase of 100,000 by 2040, and much of this increase in senior citizens, the necessity for a robust, well-trained and educated healthcare workforce in Sussex County will only continue to increase.

Andy has experienced this personally in bringing his parents here to Sussex County so he can care for them. Andy recognizes the need to increase the number of healthcare professionals in Sussex County and has proposed several initiatives to make Sussex County more attractive to health professionals, including increasing the availability of technical training programs in Sussex County to meet this challenge.

Such an effort will serve several purposes, including job creation, thus providing solid good paying careers for our young graduates of high school and most important, meeting the growing needs of the healthcare field in Southern Delaware.

Third as someone who now relies on Medicare, I am greatly concerned that Andy’s opponent supports the Republican Party’s effort to change Medicare to a voucher program as proposed by the Republican presidential candidate and his vice presidential candidate. Certainly this policy is the agenda of the Republican Party on the national level. This plan would have devastating effect on the healthcare provided to our senior citizens, particularly those on fixed income who can ill afford to pay more for care.

I would encourage you to go to Andy Staton’s website: to read more about his proposals to meet the challenges facing the 6th district and Sussex County. They are thoughtful, specific and detail what he intends to do if we make him our new state senator. I for one will try to make that happen.

Bernard J. Clark III, M.D.

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