ADA – Oklahoma State Senator Susan Paddack has been named East Central University’s Distinguished Alumnus and will address candidates for bachelor’s and master’s degrees at ECU’s fall commencement ceremonies on Saturday, Dec. 14, at the Kerr Activities Center.
The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. for 225 candidates for bachelor’s degrees and 94 candidates for master’s degrees.
Paddack was elected as state senator for District 13, which includes Pontotoc, Hughes, and portions of Garvin and Coal Counties, in 2004 and serves as Democratic Caucus Co-Chair.
Her passion is to promote both education and healthcare in Oklahoma and has successfully authored numerous pieces of landmark legislation in these areas, resulting in multiple honors for her efforts.
Through Paddack’s help and that of State Representative Todd Thomsen, ECU was able to obtain a $50,000 grant from the Oklahoma Department of Education to be applied toward the university’s two science and engineering fairs, thus underlining the importance of a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education.
Paddack has received more than 20 honors and awards for her legislative work. A couple of her most recent honors include OKPCA Legislative Champion of the Year for 2013 and OPEA Legislator of the Year in 2011.
She was the principal author of the 2005 legislation, Rx Oklahoma, which expands the Prescription Assistance Program to make it available statewide. That same year, she also authored legislation, creating a physician assistant scholarship programed aimed at helping ensure rural communities have greater access to medical care.
Paddack was also instrumental in passing legislation to create the Health Care Workforce Resource Center, to help identify shortages in nursing and allied health as well as developing strategies to address those gaps.
In addition, Paddack authored laws to ensure that schools provide information about meningococcal meningitis to parents of students in the sixth through 12 grades and to require vision screenings for elementary students. She also authored a bill which gives lawsuit protection to healthcare providers who give charitable medical services to medically indigent persons in a free medical clinic setting.
Paddack earned a bachelor of science degree in education from the University of Colorado and a master in secondary education from ECU.