Holcomb says he leads by listening

By Adrianna Pitrelli

 INDIANAPOLIS — Gov. Eric Holcomb ran to the grocery store to pick up a few items, but he didn’t expect it to take him nearly two hours to return home, or to have such a great impact on the way he leads the Hoosier state.

“Once you’re sworn in, there are very few places you can go, even out of town and out of state, where people don’t recognize you,” Holcomb said. “I love talking to people, but it was a big surprise to go through the drive-thru and have people asking to take a picture with me.”

Holcomb was reflecting on his first half year as governor in a wide-ranging interview on No Limits, WFYI-FM’s twice a week public affairs program hosted by John Krull, who is also publisher of TheStatehouseFile.com.

Gov. Eric Holcomb

In that interview, which aired Aug. 3, Holcomb said the one-on-one interactions with people have a dramatic effect on how he addresses problems. The conversations have a lingering impact on him, fueling his desire to make improvements for Hoosiers on everything from education to healthcare.

At both the state and federal level, healthcare is making headlines, especially when it comes to a lack of consensus — which Holcomb said he has seen first hand.

“I was recently joined a group of other Republican governors, and I can tell you the disagreement amongst us is reflective of the disagreement amongst the U.S. Senate,” he said. “There was a level of frustration on how we are going to solve this.”

Encouraging and attracting job growth to the state will help deliver healthcare to Hoosiers, Holcomb said.

“I want to be part of the solution,” he said. “And I hope our federal friends look at ways to realize it doesn’t have to be solved in one breath or one week, but to make sure people are taking steps to make sure people are working and people have healthcare.”

Holcomb said nationwide, states can be part of the healthcare solution by having authority and making reforms that are needed, such as the Healthy Indiana Plan. That isn’t a permanent solution, he said, but will help Hoosiers until there is a greater solution. The Healthy Indiana Plan offers health insurance to those not eligible for Medicare or Medicaid, and requires them to pay monthly fees based on their income.

Meanwhile, one of Holcomb’s greatest focuses in the Hoosier state is education — as more than half of the budget goes toward K-12 education.

“We have to look at how prepared and educated and skilled folks who come out of high school with their ticket to success in their hand are,” Holcomb said. “They’re able to purse what they’re passionate about.”

Holcomb said he desires to see the state continue to make investments in STEM-based education because it is the future of the workforce. STEM is science, technology, engineering and math.

“We have to make sure we are bridging the workforce as there need to be an arc of trajectory,” Holcomb said. “We have to make it a priority not just because of cost, but because of lives and productivity.”

Holcomb plans to go on a statewide workforce tour in August, where he will talk about how job preparation begins early in a child’s education.

“I’m a big believer for making sure our kids are prepared at the earliest age — starting at four-years-old,” Holcomb said. “We have to invest in them too.”

Workforce, for Holcomb, isn’t just about creating jobs for Hoosiers, it’s about bringing jobs to the state by improving the quality of life.

“We are going to have to make investments so people want to come here,” Holcomb said. “This is going to tap in to one of the nation’s biggest economies. Not just infrastructure investments but improve the cultural amenities in each region.”

From Fort Wayne to Evansville, Republicans to Democrats, Holcomb said people are working to make improvements to draw businesses and families to the Hoosier state.

Yet, whether it’s education or healthcare, Holcomb said he strives to work with those across the aisle to ensure Indiana is the best place for Hoosiers, and a place where more Americans come to live.

“It was a goal of mine, for sure, to make sure folks on both sides of the aisle felt comfortable coming to me,” he said about first becoming governor. “If you’re passionate about something different and it’s not on the top of my list, but we can come to an agreement, then we can get things done.”

Adrianna Pitrelli is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

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3 Responses to Holcomb says he leads by listening

  1. Opiod problem from an RN.

    This is so simple, but we overlook the obvious time after time. Bureaucracy making rules and spending money that doesn’t do a thing to help the problem. Laws that just make more criminals. Making it more difficult for providers to treat patients with chronic pain and illness. Making it difficult for the honest patients to get their needed prescriptions, and costing more to both providers and patients.

    1st and foremost, give medical facilities and providers monetary assistance and incentives to educate, really spend time and educate, patients w/ chronic pain and illness to understand pain and treatment. This education is as simple as this. Baseline chronic pain should not be treated. It is a fact of life and aging unfortunately. First educate lifestyle changes, exercises, and body mechanics or behavior that can be avoided to prevent exceeding baseline pain. Only when pain exceeds baseline should treatment be considered. With mildly elevated pain, treatment such as Tylenol, nsaids, ice, heat, elevation, and at times movement, simply movement. With moderate pain escalation continue w/ previous treatment, with mild use of opioods, benzos, etc. When pain escalates to being severe only then should these medicatons be increased or taken more often. This would be the education, and be instituted by a MD or RN, specific to each individual. The main theme is for the patient to understand if opiolds/benzos are the first choice in any treatement plan at the first sign or sx of pain at some point a tolerance will be developed and no pain medication will bring relief to the patient. This education model would also stress the use of the milder treatment plans be implemented at the first sign or sx of pain onset or escalation. Milder treatment is more efficient if used prior to escalation of pain, not afterwards. Prevention not correction is the goal.

    In my practice as a RN, I have been fortunate to actually spend this time with patients in case management of chronic pain and illness. I have seen first hand time after time this model work. Having patients come backs months later telling their MD or myself, after practicing this treatment plan, has worked so much better for pain control and management of chronic pain and illness. It changed their quality of life in many ways too lengthy to list.

    The other benefit is identification sooner of addiction or misuse of medication. Identification of these individuals, like the pain meds themselves, allows providers to treat prior to severe addiction. Too many providers are too strapped to provide proper assessment and education. Under pressure to see more and more patients with less and less resources. If this money was spent up front, prior to the problem, how much would this save all of us on the other end, not counting the pain and loss experienced by families, friends, and individuals themselves. The legal, legislative, bureaucratic, and insurance solutions after the fact, has proven time and time again for decades to cost far more with minimal success. Always follow who the money benefits, and their answer will not be a better process.

    With that said, political polices, and the police actions, liberation’s, in countries whose primary industry is growing poppy for processing as heroin, and sold en mass cheaply, drives the law of supply and demand. What ever drug is the most effective on the street with the least amount of cost to the end user is what is going to be popular.. Hence the different cuts on the street by the dealers, leave this end user no way to judge the different dosages purchased. Good kids from good families are dying every day. Patents whom need pain medications are losing the battle with legislative and bureaucratic processes. Some are turning to the streets due to these wasteful expensive policies.

    It is that simple. In a few sentences. Fix the problem. We are human, we will always have failures and tragedies, but the goal should be at the end of the day, to have as few as possible, not lining pockets and doing political favors. Everything points to giving the problem to the people that can solve it, MDs and RNs with time to educate.

  2. Kenny Adams
    August 4, 2017
    Dear Governor Holcomb
    I am so glad that you worked so hard to give the Indiana State Police a BIG pay raise. I put in 35 years for the State Police and I have only received 2 cola raises of 1 percent in 2007 and 2008. I am on the so called Post 87 State Police retirement plan. When the troopers got this last pay raise, all of the retirees on the Post 87 plan got nothing. The only thing we receive is a one time 13th check of about $350.00 dollars.
    Superintendent Carter tells the members of the 87 plan that he is working on the disparity of the 87 plan compared to those troopers who retired on the 20 year plan. Those officers get a raise each time the active troops receive a raise. So, since I retired in 2004, I have only received a total of 2 percent. I would sincerely hope that you would not forget us. We are just as deserving as the active troopers and the retirees on the 20 year or pre-87 plan. I voted for you sir, and I have a son who is a Lieutenant on the ISP. Please check in to this and give us a cola! We are just as deserving as the 20 year retirees.
    I really appreciate what you have done for the active troopers, but don’t forget the other retired troopers on the Post 87 plan.

    Respectfully submitted,

    Kenny R. Adams, Retired Corpora, PE2124
    2620 South College Hills Drive
    Hanover, IN 47243

  3. Governor Holcomb,

    We see this from fox news. Very relevant to our FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REQUEST on or about 4/9/17 to the DNR DFW DLE. We have dealt with three DNR Attorneys and two from the Public Access Counselor’s Office after filing a complaint when our request was not acted on. To date we have yet to recieve a ruling from PAC, nor from the DNR or its Divisions in regards to our request. Most specifically an email reported sent from Director Reiter entitled “I am not happy about this”. Also emails from DFW TO DLE refusing DLE assessments pertaining to deer herd in their assigned counties or county.

    We have had reports these emails may be showing direct undermining of CDAC pilots agreed to by Directors Clark and Reiter in a meeting with IDWHM Group and the ViceChairman of Wisconsin’s NRB appointed direct by Governor Walker. This meeting was facilitated and attended as well by Senators Tomes and Messmer. This seems quite logical since the Directors did not accept the results of these pilots.

    Since you declared the importance of FOI Act requests, by vetoing One of the first bills presented to you from the Legislators this spring to make the public responsible for charges to these requests. You righteously explained it is important for the Government to remain transparent and accountable to the public. Your administration must not feel they should act accordingly under your direction.

    Seeing that the Democrats nationally covered up public information, information that most likely would have influenced the election. Until a federal court ordered the FBI and Department of Justice to release after the fact was there any response. Alot too late. Luckily the democratic party did not succeed. As a republican with a platform of less government and transparency to the citizens we would think you would be as upset as we are.

    IWDHM Group