Oregon state Sen. Alan Bates, DO, died suddenly Aug. 5 during a fishing trip with his son, according to the Osteopathic Physicians & Surgeons of Oregon.
Dr. Bates graduated from the Kansas City (Missouri) University of Medicine and Biosciences College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1977. He practiced family medicine for more than 30 years in Medford, Oregon, the Oregonian reports. He was elected to Oregon’s House of Representatives in 2000 and moved to the Senate four years later, where he served until his death.
In 2012, Dr. Bates told The DO that one of his first orders of business as a state legislator was to have two automated external defibrillators (AEDs) installed in the Oregon Capitol. The building previously didn’t have one. Later, when a man suffered a heart attack in the capitol, one of those AEDs saved his life.
“These things happen, and it makes you understand how important it is to do what we do,” Dr. Bates told The DO. “If those AEDs weren’t there, that man would have died.”
Additionally, last year Dr. Bates assisted state Sen. Alan Olsen when he was having chest pains. Later, while speaking on the House floor, Olsen said Dr. Bates had saved his life, according to the Oregonian.
As a legislator, Dr. Bates focused on health care. In the past several years, he passed a bill that enabled autism patients to receive insurance coverage for applied behavior analysis and legislation that directed state authorities to create a standard prior authorization form for prescriptions.
“Alan was a close friend, a statesman, and a doctor who was deeply committed to ensuring that every Oregonian had access to health care,” Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said in a statement. “He left an indelible impression on Oregon, and I will miss him forever.”