Baker Signs Emergency Room Accessibility Bill into Law

Gov. Baker signs ‘Laura’s Law’

HYANNIS – Governor Charlie Baker recently signed into law a bill that will ensure that those in need of medical attention can more quickly and effectively find appropriate emergency health services. 

‘Laura’s Law’ is named in memory of Laura Levis, who died of an asthma attack just outside of an area hospital when she was unable to locate an accessible entrance to the emergency room in 2016. 

Laura’s husband, Pete DeMarco, and members of her family joined Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito at the ceremonial signing of the bill. 

The new law implements minimum criteria and standards to ensure safe, timely and accessible patient access to the entrances of Massachusetts hospital emergency departments. 

“I signed ‘Laura’s Law’ to safeguard against future tragedies occurring just steps away from hospital emergency departments,” said Baker in a statement.

“In the wake of her tragic passing, Laura’s husband, Pete, undertook an exhaustive effort to honor  her legacy and protect others from similar fates. After months of collaboration and hard work with legislators, including Senator Jehlen and Representative Barber, I am proud to sign Laura’s Law and celebrate her memory in a meaningful way.”

The regulations will require that entries must be clearly marked, easily accessible and properly monitored by security if necessary. 

The Department of Public Health will also convene a working group on patient access to hospital emergency rooms or departments to report on and make recommendations to inform policies. 

“It is, in some respects, one of the truly great characteristics of this state. That folks try to find a way to create something good out of something awful,” said Baker during the ceremonial signing. 

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native currently living in Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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