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Lawmaker takes the lead in fight for trauma center

August 17, 2002|by LAURA ERNDE

laurae@herald-mail.com

Until House Speaker Casper R. Taylor stepped in this week, Del. John P. Donoghue has been the key local lawmaker involved in helping reopen Washington County Hospital's Trauma Center.

Other members of the Washington County Delegation to the Maryland General Assembly say they have deferred to Donoghue, D-Washington, because of his knowledge of health care issues statewide.

Donoghue chairs the Health Care Subcommittee of the House Economic Matters Committee.

"John, with his expertise in health care, is very well suited to represent the delegation," said Del. Christopher B. Shank, R-Washington.

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Donoghue serves on the local Trauma Center Task Force.

Shank said Washington County Hospital's trauma center problems are indicative of the need to help trauma centers statewide with their funding problems.

Del. Robert A. McKee, R-Washington, said Donoghue represents the delegation on the trauma center issue.

Shank plans to attend a meeting Wednesday of the Study Panel on Funding Needs for Trauma Centers, which has been meeting for the past year. He was not invited to the meeting called by Taylor, D-Allegany.

Taylor said he invited Donoghue and Sen. Donald F. Munson, R-Washington, along with the chairmen of several key legislative committees.

Munson could not be reached for comment Thursday or Friday.

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