Amy Klobuchar and The Emily Program to host Press Conference in Support of Anna Westin Act
For Immediate Release
Saint Paul, MN – October 16, 2015 – Senator Amy Klobuchar [D-MN] along with Kitty Westin, Board Member of The Emily Program Foundation, and Jillian Lampert, Chief Strategy Officer at The Emily Program, will host a press conference on Sunday, October 18th at 3pm in support of the Anna Westin Act. The press conference will take place at The Emily Program's St. Louis Park location (5354 Parkdale Drive, 2nd Floor St. Louis Park, MN 55416).
The Anna Westin Act of 2015, named for a Minnesota woman who lost her life due to complications from an eating disorder in 2000, was introduced by Senator Amy Klobuchar [D-MN] and other members of the Senate this past July. The new bill was written to help the estimated 30 million Americans suffering from eating disorders throughout the United States receive equal treatment as those with other health issues.
The Anna Westin Act clarifies congressional intent in the implementation of the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008. Eating disorders are treatable when recognized and addressed properly. Therefore, the Anna Westin Act aims to improve training and provide clarity of parity in order to ensure eating disorders receive equal quality of treatment and coverage as other illnesses receive. Enactment would: help prevent eating disorders by training health professionals on the early identification and intervention when precursory symptoms and behaviors arise and provide better access to treatment for those affected by the disorders, thereby decreasing out-of-pocket treatment costs.
"Millions of Americans are affected by the crippling symptoms of eating disorders but very few get the proper help they need, leading anorexia to have the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder," said Klobuchar. "Whether that is due to late detection or insufficient insurance coverage, we should be doing more to give patients like Anna the tools they need to overcome these diseases."
The press conference will shed further light on the importance of passing this bill to Minnesotans who are currently struggling to access adequate care for eating disorder treatment. Kitty Westin, Anna's mother notes, "It is hard to find adequate words to express how I feel about the Anna Westin Act. I feel great sorrow, elation and most of all HOPE. Sorrow because this comes too late for Anna and I miss her every day. Elation because The Anna Westin Act will prevent others from suffering like Anna and our family. HOPE because after 15 years of hard work and commitment I believe that together we will pass the Anna Westin Act and the result will help millions of people and save countless lives."