Senator describes healthcare as nation's
biggest crisis during remarks at garden dedication in Columbia
to healthcare is the biggest crisis facing America and particularly
South Carolina’s many poor, rural residents, a Richland County
legislator said Thursday.
Speaking at the end of a day of activities surrounding World
Tuberculosis Day, Sen. Joel Lourie, D-Richland, said 100,000 South
Carolina children lack regular access to health care.
“Of course they can always use the emergency room just like your
children use their primary care physicians,” Lourie said.
Lourie was keynote speaker at a reception at the home of Romel Lacson,
who created the TB Photovoice Project based at USC’s Arnold School of
The Photovoice Project is dedicated in memory of Lacson’s late wife, Dr.
Claudia Amaya-Lacson, who died from TB meningitis in 2004.
The project is under way in South Carolina, Texas, Thailand and South
America and uses photographs to tell the stories of TB patients to
highlight the disease and influence policymakers and community leaders.
garden, designed to resemble the landscape of Amaya-Lacson’s native
Colombia, also was dedicated during the reception.
Another part of the ceremony was a display of photos taken by TB victims
who have been participating in the TB Photovoice Project in El Paso,
TX. Accompanied by voiceovers in English and Spanish, the often
haunting, emotional photos represented the feeling of the victims and
their struggle with the disease.
Lourie, a longtime champion of public health and a prominent figure in
the battle against smoking, said that there is good news surrounding TB
because it is curable.
“There are so many diseases that are impossible to treat, impossible to
diagnose, impossible to cure. But this is a disease we can beat and with
your help we can,” said Lourie, the 2005 S.C. Public Health Association
Legislator of the Year.
Earlier Thursday, the Arnold School held a panel discussion, titled "TB
Anywhere Is TB Everywhere."
more about USC World TB Day events, contact Lauren Vincent at
803-348-7998 or Allison Waller at 803-568-0101. For information about
the TB Photovoice Project, contact Romel Lacson at 803-719-3030 or visit
Tuberculosis Day on March 24 commemorates the day in 1882 when German
physician and scientist Dr. Robert Koch announced that he had discovered
the cause of tuberculosis, the TB bacillus.