Echols named finalist for RareVoice Award

  • Virtual Ceremony

OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Jon Echols, R-Oklahoma City, is among the finalists for the RareVoice Award for state lawmakers.

The awards are hosted by Rare Disease Legislative Advocates, a program of the EveryLife Foundation for Rare Diseases. The award winners will be named in a virtual ceremony Dec. 10.

Echols was selected as a finalist this year because of his legislative work on rare diseases and for disabled Oklahomans.

Five years ago, Echols wrote House Bill 2154, which allowed the use of cannabis oil for children with disabilities. The news release said Echols realized that Oklahomans need alternative medicine after his niece was diagnosed with epilepsy.

In 2018, Echols was one of the founders of the Waiting List Caucus, a bipartisan work group focusing on legislation to provide annual funds for Home and Community-Based Services waivers. At the time, more than 7,600 Oklahomans were on the program’s waiting list, with an average wait of more than 12 years.

Last year, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed House Bill 2632, which Echols wrote. The measure protects patients’ access to pharmacy services, reduces pharmacy benefit managers’ conflicts of interest and prohibits retroactive claim adjustments and denials.