Senator Alan Bates Dies at Age 71

10:50 a.m. UPDATE: Senator Alan Bates passed away suddenly on Friday.

The family released the following statement:

“The entire Bates family is still in shock at this sudden tragedy. We are gathering together to be there for one another in this time of need,” the family said. “He was such a great man with an impact on Oregon, his community, his patients and most of all, his family. He saved so many lives through a lifetime of practicing medicine, helping generations of southern Oregonians better their health. He went on to help many more people in his work in the Oregon Legislature. His loss will be felt throughout the state. The family welcomes thoughts and prayers while we grieve together. We are comforted in the fact that he passed after a day of doing something he loved: fly fishing his son. We will always think of him when we hear the sound of the river, feel the summer sunlight and see a fly line cast upon the water.”

Senator Bates was an established primary care physician in Medford. He practiced in southern Oregon for more than 30 years. He became a member of the Oregon Senate in 2004. Prior to that he served four years in the House of Representatives. He was also a member of the Eagle Point School Board for 10 years, served in Vietnam and spent two years on the Governor’s task force on Quality in Education.

He is remembered as someone who was passionate about health care. In 1989 he was appointed to the state’s Health Services Commission. This helped design and implement the Oregon Health Plan. He chaired the commission for three years before deciding to run for public office.

MEDFORD, Ore. — Oregon Senator Alan Bates has died at the age of 71.

Dr. Bates was a Democrat who represented District 3, serving Medford, Talent, Phoenix, Jacksonville, Applegate, Ruch and Ashland.

He also he also worked at Asante in Medford as a doctor of osteopathic medicine.

– See more at: http://www.kdrv.com/news/Senator_Alan_Bates_Passes_Away_at_71_Years_Old.html#sthash.bSGVgokV.dpuf

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