I am a husband, father, native Appalachian and Ob/Gyn physician. In practicing medicine, when I recognize ailments it’s in my nature to heal them at the source. I’ve always been drawn to fixing problems and to helping those whose need is greatest. Currently, I care for opiate-addicted pregnant women, providing treatment aimed at reducing the incidence of withdrawal in newborns.
My career in academic medicine has taken me beyond day-to-day patient care. I’m an educator, having taught medical students and OB/GYN residents. As the co-inventor of a patented surgical simulation technology, I’m also an innovator. My life as a doctor has taken me beyond international borders and into the Middle East, where I’ve helped develop and teach maternal safety courses in Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan.
My wife Natalie and I have been married for 34 years, and we’ve lived in the Johnson City area for 25 years. East Tennessee was a great place for us to raise our daughter, Karen, who now lives in Philadelphia and works as a biochemist. Her husband, Walt, is a native Tennessean. I believe in the potential of our home, and I want to do everything I can to make sure that East Tennessee continues to be a great place to settle down and start a family.
Why I’m Running
Naturally, my concern for our nation’s healthcare first prompted my decision to run for Congress. Nearly half of the district receives public health insurance coverage. As a physician, I feel bound to support access to healthcare for all people. So when the House voted to summarily cut millions of people from access to healthcare, I not only felt this was thoughtless and cruel, but it flew in the face of everything I stand for. I thought enough is enough. It was clear to me that Dr. Phil Roe has cast aside the duties of his office and his profession.As a fellow OB/GYN, a constituent, and a human being, I knew that I had to call him out on it.
Though the healthcare debate pushed me over the edge, Congressman Roe and his colleagues’ neglectful agenda and fanatical partisanship reaches far beyond any one bill. Since 2016, we’ve witnessed a crisis of dignity in public discourse. Oftentimes I find myself more surprised by expressions of decency in Washington than by acts of hostility. The phrase “common courtesy” feels like an oxymoron. We can’t let this become the new normal. The American people deserve a Congress whose members work for Americans, not against each other. We just need some different members.
In the coming months, I’ll be campaigning on a message of moving the country and district forward–not left or right. National partisan bickering has little to nothing to do with what we need in East Tennessee.