Assemblyman Das Williams, D-Santa Barbara, was honored this past weekend by the California chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians with the Senator Ken Maddy Political Leadership Award.

The state group is a nonprofit association that represents and provides support for more than 2,500 emergency physicians working in California. Williams was recognized at the association’s annual gathering, held in Monterey.

The Senator Ken Maddy Political Leadership Award is given each year to a person who, like Senator Maddy, has made a lasting and indelible contribution to emergency medicine through significant legislative and or political efforts. Past recipients include Sens. Alex Padilla and Ted Lieu.

“Assemblymember Das Williams has been a champion for securing much-needed resources for emergency rooms,” said Elena Lopez-Gusman, executive director of California ACEP. “It is a pleasure to honor his hard work on behalf of our physicians and the patients they serve daily.”

Last year, Williams authored a bill that went into law Jan. 1 that re-authorizes Santa Barbara County to collect a $5 penalty assessment on tickets issued for driving under the influence and other driving while intoxicated offenses. That money is specifically used for emergency medical services in the county, which has the longest serving trauma unit in the region.

“Das has been a great supporter of the EMS system, in particularly at Cottage Hospital,” said Dr. David Strumpf, president of the medial group staff for the emergency room at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara.

“I am honored to be recognized by our state and local emergency room physicians with this prestigious award,” Williams said. “It is essential for the safety of each of us to ensure that our local trauma centers are adequately funded so that all of us can receive lifesaving treatment in case of an emergency.”

— James Joyce is a field representative of Assemblyman Das Williams, D-Santa Barbara.