Stark Named NCSL Maternal and Child Health Fellow

11/2/2021 10:55:00 AM

Contact: Rep. Marilyn
Phone: (405) 557-7403

Rep. Marilyn Stark, R-Bethany, has been named a 2022 Maternal and Child Health Fellow by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues.

"It's an honor to be named to the third class of maternal and child health fellows through NCSL," Stark said. "I look forward to learning from these leaders and exchanging ideas about what policies may help Oklahoma better serve our children and mothers."

Stark, who was elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives in 2018, currently serves as the vice chair of the House Health Services and Long-Term Care Committee and also sits on the House Public Health Committee.

The fellowship is designed to support legislators who are experienced or emerging leaders in maternal and child health. Stark has over 15 years' experience as a registered nurse and primarily worked in intensive care. She earned her bachelors of science in nursing from the University of Oklahoma.

Fellows will participate in two meetings and two webinars in 2022. The first will be held in Phoenix in January 2022 and will feature a robust agenda of experts as well as time for networking and developing individual action plans.

In 2020, Stark coauthored Senate Bill 647, nicknamed Lily's Law, to ensure all families can have a say in the disposition of remains of a child who was stillborn or miscarried. The bill, which went into effect Nov. 1, requires birthing centers and other medical facilities to keep a written policy to allow for the family to direct the disposition of the remains of the child.

Statute previously required hospitals to abide by this policy; however, many families choose to seek care at birthing centers or other medical facilities. SB647 would require these facilities to follow the same guidelines as hospitals.