By Fay Fulton, Executive Vice President
The Georgia Academy of Family Physicians (GAFP) honored Georgia Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver (D-Decatur) with its House Legislative Champion of the Year Award for her strategic vision, exemplary leadership, and tireless efforts to improve health care in the state.
“Representative Oliver has been tenacious in her efforts to ensure that every Georgian has access to the health care they need, including those who live in underserved communities,” says GAFP President Susana Alfonso, M.D.
Rep. Oliver was a leading advocate for Georgia Speaker of the House David Ralston’s ‘Mental Health Parity Act’ (H.B. 1013), which passed both chambers on a unanimous basis during the 2022 legislative session.
“This legislation was a huge victory for Georgians,” explains Dr. Alfonso. “Our most vulnerable patients will consequently receive better care and have greater access to more coordinated mental health services.”
Dr. Alfonso concludes that, “This year’s legislative session further solidified Representative Oliver’s reputation as a passionate, articulate and effective leader – a genuine champion for both patients and physicians.”
Rep. Oliver is Chair of the MARTOC committee, the only Democrat to chair any committee in the House. She is also a member of the House Appropriations, Judiciary, Governmental Affairs, Juvenile Justice, and Science & Technology committees. Note, too, that Georgia Supreme Court Justice Michael P. Boggs has appointed Rep. Oliver to the Georgia Supreme Court’s Committee on Justice for Children, while Speaker David Ralston appointed her to the Georgia Behavioral Health Reform and Innovation Commission.
Rep. Oliver practices law in Decatur. She has degrees from Vanderbilt University and the Emory University Law School. Rep. Oliver was a visiting professor at Emory’s Barton Child Law and Policy Center, she serves on Emory’s Board of Visitors, she has been honored as an Emory History Maker, and she is a member of the Altamaha Riverkeeper Board of Directors. She also taught at Boston College Law School, and served as a DeKalb County Magistrate judge.