“As a nurse, I understand the healthcare needs of the community,” said Moser. “I’m also very civically involved. When involvement and healthcare come together, it’s easy to see the problem.”
Moser, a State Representative from Taylor Mill, was awarded the Henrietta Cleveland Inspiring Women Award by St. Elizabeth Healthcare at the 2018 Outstanding Women of Northern Kentucky Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, May 1, 2018.
“As I listened and got more involved and knowledgeable of the issue, I was able to hear their concerns," said Moser. “These were extraordinary people – parents, treatment specialists, judges, jailers, basically anyone who had a stake in the heroin crisis. I just helped them advocate effectively for their cause.”
And it worked. She helped write and advocate for Senate Bill 192, which was passed in March 2015 to increase funding for treatment, increase distribution of Narcan and add language that allows for local-option Syringe Access-Exchange programs as well as a Good Samaritan provision. The Northern Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy opened in July 2015; Moser serves as director.
Three years later, the issue has evolved and no one piece of legislation or policy can stand alone to solve the heroin epidemic. Yet, Moser continues to fight. She was elected to the State Legislature in 2016 and serves as the National President of the American Medical Association Alliance – the philanthropic arm of the American Medical Association.
She said working at local, state and national levels puts her in a unique position to affect policy change.
“I can see what’s happening on the ground and take concerns straight to Frankfort and D.C.,” said Moser. “I also have the opportunity to work with community partners like St. Elizabeth Healthcare, who are advocating louder than anyone for treating addiction like a disease.”
“The bill was so critically important to limiting first exposure to these highly addictive drugs,” said Moser. “It was a much-needed pause to prevent long-term abuse.”
But she said success doesn’t stop there.
“Addiction knows no boundaries,” said Moser. “We’re seeing it in every neighborhood and every family. While we’re breaking down barriers on a regional and national level, stigma still exists. People will only find hope when we start treating addiction like a disease and seeing the human being behind the illness.”