Elected in November 2018 and representing the 30th District is Rep. Jon Patterson. Patterson is a doctor and a surgeon whose time as a physician has led him to step in the political ring. His work in medicine broadening his view of how he can be of service to others.
“It’s my work, I enjoy helping people. And I saw this as an opportunity to help an even greater number of people,” Patterson said. “They’re both different in their own ways so you get to take a break from one and go to the other. So it’s fun, it’s challenging and I’m actually really enjoying it.”
Patterson has also been on several medical missions that have brought him throughout the world including Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and Jordan, where he performed surgery on those who could not acquire it.
“I have been on a few medical missions and we do surgery on people that would have no access to any kind of surgical care where they live,” Patterson said. “The last place I went was Amman, Jordan, and I actually helped operate on Syrian refugees who had injuries from the humanitarian crisis that’s going on Syria right now.”
It was through this work that Patterson saw how important health care is nationwide and what it means for Missouri.
“You realize how very lucky we are to live in the United States, to have all of the equipment and technology that’s available to us,” Patterson said. “They don’t have anywhere near that in other countries so we have to bring a lot of our own equipment and supplies. But most of all, you just realize how lucky we are to live where we do.”
Transitioning from a doctor to a lawmaker, Patterson was impressed by the motivation from his peers, seeing as they are also hoping to help the people of Missouri, despite political differences.
“My first impressions are that every single member of the House, whether they’re Republicans or Democrats are here for the right reasons,” Patterson said. “They want to and are here to help the constituents back home that they represent. They all come from different backgrounds and have different experiences but I have no doubt that they are all here with the truest intentions.”
Patterson’s committees are tailored to him and his endeavors. With that in mind, his goal is to make sure that the state takes care of its most vulnerable citizens. Children, elderly, and disabled are all part of Patterson’s focus as a health care provider and as a politician. As a part of the workforce development committee, he believes that the best things that we can do for health care is get good, high paying family-supporting jobs to move to the state.
One way Patterson believes the legislature can improve health care is through HB 678, tweaking the MO ABLE program. This would help the disabled invest in accounts designated to cover qualified expenses.
“The ABLE account stands for Achieving a Better Life Experience. These are accounts that disabled folks are able to invest in. The money grows tax-free and then they can use it tax-free for qualified expenses,” Patterson explained. “This is a great thing that we do for our neighbors and our friends and I’m proud to be working on legislation to improve it.”
Patterson also sponsors HB 667 to have the state continue to invest in regional tourism infrastructure. This money would go to the Jackson County Sports Authority and the Enterprise Center which are both regionally owned assets that bring business, tourism, and visitors to the state. If passed, Patterson hopes the bill will generate a lot of tax revenue that would in-turn benefit the state.