Headshot of Jackie Walorski

Home care and hospice leaders are mourning the loss of Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN), who was killed Wednesday in a car accident.

Walorski was a lead sponsor of the Rural Access to Hospice Act, which  allowed rural health centers and federally qualified health centers to receive payment under Medicare for hospice services beginning this year.

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization awarded Walorski the Hospice Action Network Angle Award in 2020, which recognized members of Congress who support hospice and palliative care.

“Representative Walorski was a friend of hospice and longtime advocate for access to end-of-life care, particularly for those living in rural areas,” NHPCO Interim President and CEO Ben Marcantonio said in a statement.   

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice also credited Walorski for her role in promoting the Homecare for Seniors Act and the Comprehensive Care for Seniors Act.

“Congresswoman Walorski’s life was devoted to public service, and she was admired by all who knew her,” NAHC President William Dombi said in a statement. “We mourn the passing of a dedicated public servant to the people of Indiana and the United States.”

Walorski was killed in her Indiana district on Wednesday when the car she was riding in crossed the centerline of a highway and was struck by on-coming traffic. Two of Walorski’s staffers, who were also in the car, were killed. The driver of the vehicle that collided with the lawmaker’s car was killed as well.

The 58-year-old Walorski was elected to the House of Representatives in 2013. She served on the House Ways and Means Committee and was of the House Ethics Committee.