OKLAHOMA CITY - State Senator Adam Pugh was presented with a special Legislative Champion Award tie by the Oklahoma Alzheimer’s Association during the organization’s Capitol Advocacy Day on Monday. Pugh, R-Edmond, authored several bills, including Senate Bill 435, on behalf of the Alzheimer’s Association this session. SB 435 unanimously passed on the Senate floor earlier this week and is now headed to the House for consideration. The measure directs the Department of Human Services to require all Adult Protective Services (APS) specialists to receive training related to recognizing, treating, and securing individuals with cognitive impairment and dementia who may suffer from abuse and exploitation.
“It’s an honor to be chosen by the Alzheimer’s Association as its legislative champion,” Pugh said. “One of the most rewarding parts of my job as a legislator is being able to find ways to help people. Legislation like Senate Bill 435 is another step in ensuring those who struggle with cognitive impairment or dementia are protected from possible abusive situations.”
Pugh said SB 435 is just one component in the state plan to raise awareness. He has also worked with different advocacy groups, medical professionals and other experts in the last year to look at other concerns that can be more effectively addressed without necessarily making changes to state statute.
“There are many groups and professionals across the state who are dedicated to making sure those who need care have access to quality care and expertise, whether that means by telemedicine, updated curriculum in educational training or a host of other resources,” Pugh said. “We are fortunate to have a wide array of professional input to help those who are affected by this disease, whether it’s the patient, the patient’s family or a caregiver. There are so many champions who tirelessly carry the burden of this disease and I’m humbled to be recognized for the small role I’ve been given to serve.”