A cancer survivor, La Shawn understands the importance of access to health care, early detection and preventative care for all Illinois residents, including our most vulnerable communities. He was an early supporter of comprehensive health care reform for all Americans.
He has worked his entire career to address health inequities, championing legislation supporting HIV/AIDS patients, improve the care they receive and protect their privacy, including introducing and passing landmark legislation that makes it easier and less intrusive for patients to be routinely tested for HIV in healthcare settings while preserving the rights of those being tested.
La Shawn is also a leader in improving community nutrition and has worked to increase the availability of fresh foods and produce in schools and low income communities and households. La Shawn sponsors an annual Family Health Challenge honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to combat childhood obesity for elementary and junior high students.
La Shawn works to prevent the epidemic of drug use in communities as co-founder of the West Side Heroin Task Force that brings attention to and promotes solutions regarding the severe heroin problem affecting the West Side of Chicago. La Shawn also led efforts to ensure health insurers provide coverage for recovery housing for people grappling with substance abuse.
Caring for older residents is also a top priority for La Shawn. He has led efforts to improve the quality of care older residents receive in hospitals and instituted protections for Alzheimer’s patients.