2009 Senate Joint Resolution 43
Relating to: the life and public service of Linda Farley.
Whereas, Linda Farley, a lifelong advocate and champion of health care reform, passed away at the age of 80 on Tuesday, June 9, 2009; and
Whereas, as a young girl growing up in a working class neighborhood in Rochester, New York, Linda cultivated her ambition to improve the health care field by becoming a doctor while reading novels about the heroic work of doctors in Appalachia; and
Whereas, in order to realize her dream, Linda worked for Eastman Kodak, and later as a nurse's aide, so that she could afford her medical school tuition at the University of Rochester in New York, where she met her husband Gene; and
Whereas, after graduating medical school, Linda began her career with an internship at the University of Colorado, Denver General Hospital, a mostly inner-city facility that served many poor and uninsured, followed by a two-year period working on a Navajo reservation, a brief stint training nurses in Jamaica with her husband, and a return to her native state and the Denver area to practice rural medicine before she finally settled in the Madison area to practice, teach at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and continue her advocacy; and
Whereas, Linda credits her time on the Navajo reservation with the development of her philosophy and attitude toward the medicinal field, which cultivated in her a greater understanding of community and cross-cultural medicine; and
Whereas, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Linda served as an assistant professor and later as an emeritus assistant professor in Family Health and was awarded for the impact she had in this capacity with the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Task Force Appreciation Award in 1993, the Wisconsin State Medical Society Physician Citizen of the Year in 1995, and the American Academy of Family Physicians President's Award in 2001; and
Whereas, Linda will be known best for her dedication and advocacy for health care reform and her desire to bring this message to the people by sharing, with her pleasant and level-headed demeanor, her intimate knowledge of the medical field; and
Whereas, it was for this work that a few years ago, Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin nominated Linda to be honored as part of the National Library of Medicine's Local Legends program, describing her as Wisconsin's passionate crusader for health care reform; and
Whereas, Linda, almost always accompanied by her husband Gene, built a network of followers that believed in her dream of a single-payer health care system which eventually changed the dynamics of health care politics in the Dane County area; and
Whereas, through her work to advance health care reform, Linda helped to form Physicians for a National Health Program, an activist group that now claims more than 16,000 physician members; and
Whereas, Linda is survived by her husband Gene, her sons Jonathan, Tillman, Shedden, and Joshua, and her grandchildren; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the senate, the assembly concurring, That that the members of the Wisconsin legislature commend Linda Farley for her tireless service to the health care field, her work to champion health care reform, and her lifelong devotion to the medically underserved, express their deep sorrow at her death, and extend their sincere condolences to her family and friends; and
Be it further resolved, That the senate chief clerk shall provide a copy of this joint resolution to Linda Farley's husband Gene Farley and her sons Jonathan, Tillman, Shedden, and Joshua Farley.