A New but Familiar Face in Arizona Politics
Aug 02, 2017 | 0 Comments | 1603 Views
Before running for Congress
Dr. Hiral Tipirneni was three years old when her family moved to California from Gujarat, India. Her mother had a background in psychology and father was a civil structural engineer. Her mother went into social work, mainly helping the elderly. Dr. Hiral grew up on the west side outside of Cleveland. She completed her undergraduate and Medical School in Ohio. Later, she completed residency in Emergency Medicine at Michigan. After completing residency with her husband Kishore Tipirneni, a classmate from medical school, she decided to settle in Phoenix and has been here for 21 years now. They have three children.
While working at Banner and Arrowhead Hospital, DrHiral had the opportunity to work with people of all spectrums. She left Clinical Medicine and has been working with a company from DC for the last seven years. After losing her mother and nephew to cancer, she channeled all her skills towards cancer research. Her main focus today is to help cancer research organizations to vet and arrange funding.
What is driving you to make the change from the medical industry to politics?
Dr Hiral said that her move from clinical medicine to this role is a significant one and would be more of an advocate. Many issues, especially related to health care, are neglected and she wants to bring new perspectives to the table. She wants to bring positive change for the people of her district.
What is your opinion about Obamacare as a Physician?
Overall, it has definitely helped. There are still struggles. Clearly, it was not a perfect plan and needs to be worked upon, specifically around pre-existing conditions; health care for pre-existing conditions would be really costly. Having firsthand knowledge of how the medical industry works, people from the industry should be involved in front line of health care and have a seat at that table for needed improvements in healthcare.
How do you view Obamacare repeal and the current healthcare bill being proposed?
Dr. Hiral is not supportive of the repeal and proposed healthcare bill because it is not a better bill and would result in millions losing their insurance. Those that do not lose it will also experience premium hikes and gaps in coverage such as pre-existing conditions. We have a long way to go to have a healthcare plan that can truly be a replacement. It is definitely better to keep what is there and work from there instead of complete repeal right now. We should improve what we have, we know where the weaknesses lie, and we should work together and find some common solutions.
What traits will make you successful in politics and what do you hope to accomplish?
In medicine, you are a problem solver especially in emergency medicine. As a team leader, you have to work with nurses and other medical personnel. You have to learn to accept other people’s ideas, analyze facts, learn to see the big picture, and learn to consider multiple solutions. You learn to compromise and become a problem solver. I have learned all these skills in my previous roles and all that is going to be extremely helpful now. As far as what I want to accomplish, I want to be the voice of those in my district who had no voice until now. For many years, their needs have not been heard and their issues are not being addressed. Real life solutions have not been proposed. There are lot of places where we can start to formulate real solutions.
What differentiates me from other constituents are these skills, which will help immensely in the field of legislature. In order to be a legislature, you have to be able to listen to your constituents- hear what their issues are; you can’t represent them based on your impression. You really have to get out there and talk to people. You have to live there. I have been here for 21 years and have raised my children here. I worked in Arizona and my children attended public schools here. We are very ingrained in the community that extends beyond the Indian American Community. I have a sense of connection to the community and to represent them you have to feel that connection. I think that will serve me well and don’t see that in our current legislature. I can bring a fresh new perspective to the table that will help the constituents.
What do you think of the level of involvement from our community both as a member and a voter?
I am extremely excited to see more Indian Americans engaged and in office now. That is a wonderful thing. It’s absolutely imperative that we energize our population and get them further engaged. Their issues are the same as everyone else. We are all looking to have healthy families, good education for our children well, safe neighborhoods, and good paying jobs. These are common values among a diverse population. I love the fact that there are more Indian Americans engaged and look forward to having more in the process of learning the issues, getting out there to vote, participating in campaigns, and running for office.
What do you advice South Asians to stay informed on?
My advice to them is to pay attention to all the issues that impact their lives. In our economy, good paying jobs, fair wages, and public education. Are we giving them the best start? In our South Asian population, education is our corner stone. We have the potential for great public schools. We have to continue to support those teachers and put our resources in those communities to ensure that children get a solid education. The issue of healthcare is first and foremost and impacts every community. Everyone needs health insurance and they have to pay attention to what is happening with healthcare. I will be thrilled to know that they are engaged and calling their senators, congress representatives, and local representatives to make their voices heard. We ne3ed to be vocal and have our opinions heard.
What final message do you want to send to our readers?
I am eager to be the voice of not only my district, but all the diverse population throughout Arizona. Being in Congress impacts the folks across the spectrum. I hope that we will get a chance to engage more people through this process. If you feel that there is a person whom you share a connection, is running for congress, you may pay more attention to that political arena. It’s important for them to know that their voices matter. My hope is to find common ground and represent those constituents. I want to give them real solutions that can positively impact their life and would be honored to be given that opportunity.