Danielle Mitchell, a Chattanooga doctor and independent business owner of a community health care clinic, is running for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2018 election, a press release said.
Mitchell is a Democrat who hopes to unseat Representative Chuck Fleischmann, a Tennessee Republican, in next year’s election in Tennessee’s Third District, the press release said. The Third District includes Oak Ridge.
Mitchell is running on a platform that prioritizes “people policy” over partisan politics, as well as a focus on viable solutions that benefit all Tennesseans, the press release said.
She will be in Oak Ridge for a special breakfast and town hall discussion on Saturday morning, October 28, according to the press release. That breakfast, called “Pancakes with a Purpose,” is scheduled from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday, October 28, in the Social Room of the Oak Ridge Civic Center, which is located at 1403 Oak Ridge Turnpike. There is a suggested donation of $20 and all are welcome, the press release said.
“The event promises a chance to share stories about issues affecting residents of the Oak Ridge area, as well as participate in a constructive discussion about strategies to improve the Third District,” the press release said. “In a time when legislators continue to serve political party interests over your interests, we need leaders who understand your struggle. Please join us and let your voice be heard.”
The release said Mitchell is a board-certified medical doctor in primary care and non-operative orthopedic sports medicine, and she is the founder and sole proprietor of the Chattanooga Sports Institute and Center for Health, which currently serves more than 1,300 Tennesseans. She is also the former director of sports medicine for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
In a campaign announcement, Mitchell said that she will work for sensible solutions that benefit the needs of all Tennesseans. Those benefits include:
- A focus on providing affordable health care for families
- Protecting Medicare and Social Security from cuts
- Improving the public education system by ensuring it is properly funded and affordable
- Identifying and getting rid of “corrupt politicians” who protect private interests that “greedily consume” taxpayer investments
- Ensuring that citizens’ hard-earned contributions are used to support key vital public services that directly benefit them and their families
- Protecting a healthy environment so that health care costs don’t go up because the environment is making people sick
- Making sure that citizens and their families have access to jobs that pay a fair livable wage
Mitchell’s inspiration for running was initially sparked by the current fight to repeal what she believes is our “Constitution of Healthcare Rights,” the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), her campaign announcement said.
“As a child growing up in the working-poor class, she and her family tragically lost her younger brother to a disease that could have been successfully managed, if her family had access to affordable health care,” the announcement said. “His untimely death occurred shortly after being denied access to medical care because of a lack of ability to pay for his medical bills.”
Currently, as a small business owner, she relies on the ACA for her own healthcare coverage, the announcement said. After losing almost 100 pounds and completing six full-length IronMan triathlons, she felt like she had finally become healthy after a lifelong battle with morbid obesity. She was devastated to learn that she too was vulnerable to the destructive perils of disease. After being diagnosed with a vascular condition that nearly led to the amputation of her entire right leg to her hip, she now says she “won the lottery of pre-existing conditions.”
In other words, even as a physician with a 20-year career in medicine serving the healthcare needs of our community, a repeal of the ACA and its protections would potentially leave her without future access to life-saving care, just like millions of other hardworking Americans she is fighting for, the press release said. Mitchell said she sees the proposed ACA repeal as one of many signs the federal government is out of touch with the needs of “you and your family.”
“I have spent my adult life listening to, problem solving, and caring for others,” Mitchell said. “Elected officials should be there to take care of you and our community. Why not elect someone who is trained to care for people?”
Mitchell said that being a health care professional, in addition to running all facets of a thriving business that serves more than 1,300 people, has trained her to solve difficult problems, make sense of a bloated and broken health care system that is similar to the government structure, advocate for hardworking people, all while executing responsible business practices and keeping a balanced budget, the announcement said.
“Practicing medicine in today’s world requires not only an extensive knowledge of illnesses and injuries, but also knowing how to help people navigate the costs of obtaining medicine and health care services they often can’t afford,” Mitchell said. “The complex and profit-centric labyrinth that is our health care system is much akin to what is wrong with our current government. It is my firm belief that a strong sense of ethics and a focus on caring for people applies not only in medicine, but should be the foundation of our government.”
“As your representative, I promise to hear all of your voices,” Mitchell said. “I will work tirelessly to put the focus back on our citizens, and advocate for Tennessee’s most precious resource: you and your family.”
To learn more, you can visit the campaign’s website, Facebook page, or Twitter account.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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