Thank you for visiting my 2018 campaign website announcing my candidacy for Indiana House of Representatives District 5. My family and I have lived in this area since 1993. As a physician for the past twenty-five years, I consider myself very fortunate to live and work in Northern Indiana. I have been dismayed, and saddened, at the level of political division between our “politicians” and their inability to progress this community forward. I think it’s time to bring in new blood, new faces, new thinking, and most importantly, action.
Here’s a little bit about myself. I was born and raised in Tinley Park, Illinois until high school when my Dad was transferred through White Castle to the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. My wife, JoAnne, and I were in the first graduating class of Apple Valley Senior High School in 1977. After graduating from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, in Secondary Education (1981), I married my high school sweetheart and then received my medical degree from the University of Minnesota in 1985. Internship, residency, and fellowship took us to Dallas, Texas; St. Louis, Missouri; and Kansas City, Kansas. After interviewing in thirteen cities in the Midwest, we fell in love with the South Bend area and knew it was going to be our home. I started working at Midwest Medical Group as a board certified Interventional Cardiologist in 1993 and am currently employed by Beacon Medical Group in Elkhart.
JoAnne and I have three children. Our son, Donnie, and his wife, Jillian, are both physicians and live in Greenwood, Indiana. They gave us our beautiful two-year-old granddaughter, Quinn. Our daughter, Christie is a graduate student at the IUPUI School of Public Health. Our youngest son, Jonathan, is a senior at Indiana University, Bloomington, and is majoring in Education and Math.
Community is important to me. I have been a member of Christ the King Lutheran Church since 1993, and have been involved through Council and mission work throughout our community. I have also been involved in volunteer medical mission work in the Dominican Republic and Jamaica. In 1998, I was a member of the Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation Committee resulting in the Reorganization of the Board of School Trustees from five (5) to seven (7) members, adding 1 seat for Harris Township and 1 at-large seat. I then ran for the at-large seat in the PHM School Board election that year. I am a board member and current president of the Midwest Cardiovascular Research and Education Foundation in Elkhart. I also volunteer as an instructor/proctor at the Indiana School of Medicine in South Bend.
My purpose in seeking the District 5 seat is simple. I believe that public service is incumbent on all of us. It does not need to be a career but instead, something we all contribute.
One issue I am passionate about is healthcare. I believe that affordable healthcare is a right for all Americans. Is a free market plan viable versus a government plan such as Medicare for all? If the Republican plan in Congress moves forward, we will need State Representatives who understand the impact on patients, especially those who are most vulnerable and at risk. That is why Medicare expansion needs to continue.
Climate change will be the principle challenge of our grandchildren and our great-grandchildren. This issue offers entrepreneurs and businesses great opportunities in the realm of “alternative” energy sources and use, as well as improvements in efficiency.
We need fairness, equality, and transparency in our state government as it relates to state and local taxes. Is it fair for the State to curtail taxes that local municipalities have already passed/accepted? I do not think so. We need to inform our District about such laws and have a real discussion on how it affects us.
We need transparency as it relates to Indiana laws and the information legislators can receive from lobbyists, and the availability of this information to the press and the public.
Gerrymandering by both parties is wrong, disenfranchising, and contributes to the incivility in politics. We absolutely need a non-partisan commission to set up competitive legislative districts.
This is only the beginning. As time goes on, I plan on communicating position statements and other information through this website. I would appreciate any help or support for my candidacy. I also want to hear suggestions regarding issues important to you concerning District 5 and the State of Indiana. I encourage anyone with questions or comments to email me at ElectWesterhausen@gmail.com. As your State Representative, I will make sure you have a voice at the Statehouse.
Donald R. Westerhausen, Jr, MD