Addie Eckardt serves in the Maryland Senate representing District 37, which includes parts of Dorchester, Caroline, Talbot and Wicomico Counties. She was overwhelmingly elected in 2014 after serving 20 years in the Maryland House of Delegates.
While in the House of Delegates, Senator Eckardt served as a member of the House Appropriations Committee and served on the following subcommittees: Health and Human Resources, Pension Oversight, Joint Committee on Health Care Delivery and Financing, Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive and Legislative, the House Special Task Force on Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Joint Committee on Mental Health Access. She served also as the ranking Republican member of the Appropriations Committee and as a member of the Joint Committee of Children, Youth and Families. Addie played a key role in the House Republican Caucus, serving as Caucus Chair during their weekly meetings.
Senator Eckardt has been active in the Republican Party since the 1980’s, serving on the Dorchester County Republican Central Committee and as Chair for two terms from 1986 -1994. She first ran for the Maryland House of Delegates in 1990.
A true citizen-legislator, Addie retired as a full-time Psychiatric-Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist employed at the Eastern Shore Hospital Center.
Addie Eckardt has worked for real health care reform to provide access to quality, affordable health care for citizens, to reduce escalating costs, stop frivolous lawsuits, and give people the ability to own their own care. In addition, Senator Eckardt has made economic development a high priority, working to lower taxes, decrease unnecessary regulations, and bring industry and broadband internet to the Shore to assure a sustainable economic base to provide necessary services to citizens. Eckardt believes in the Jeffersonian principles of limited government and attempts to apply those in a much regulated state.
She is married to Dick Eckardt of Cambridge and they have three married sons and eight grandchildren. The Eckardts are active members of Christ Episcopal Church in Cambridge.
Currently as a Senator she is assigned to Senate Budget and Taxation Committee, Health and Human Services Subcommittee, Pensions Subcommittee, Joint Committee on Children, Youth and Families, Joint Committee on Pension Oversight, Joint Audit Committee, Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive, and Legislative Review (AELR), and Joint Committee on Fair Practices and State Personnel Oversight. She also is the Senate member to the Behavioral Health Advisory Board and the Maryland Environmental Trust.
She currently serves as a Board Member of the following organizations: Mid Shore Regional Council; Channel Marker Foundation Board; Eastern Shore Area Health Education Center; Sailwinds Inc., and Senator Eckardt also retains membership in the American Nurses Association and the Maryland Nurses Association District IV. She is a Past President of the Maryland Nurses Association, and a past Board member of Dorchester General Hospital, The Maryland Hospital Association Board, Maryland CASA Board and Leadership Maryland and Shore Leadership Development committee. Locally she serves on the Dorchester Advisory Board for Healthy Families, the Partnership for Drug Free Dorchester, and Local Management Board. She participates on the Health Committee for both the National Conference of State Legislatures and American Legislative Exchange Council. In 2003, 2005, and 2007 she was named one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women and is a member of their Maryland Top 100 Women Circle of Excellence.
COMMITMENT TO HEALTH CARE
Since her election to the Maryland General Assembly, Senator Eckardt has focused her efforts on affordable, accessible, quality health care for all citizens. Recognizing the importance of small business she has advocated for comprehensive health care reform not just expansion of public sector programs. If small business is to remain the backbone of our communities, health care must be affordable. This translates into the provision of heath care to the most vulnerable by the government but reform in the private sector to slow the escalating costs. Thru the years she worked on the mandated benefits review process which passed, the children’s health initiative, expansion of dental care for low income children and adults, passed legislation that created the Eastern Shore Area Health Education Center, School Based Wellness programs, Community Health Centers, the Wellmobile initiative and the Rural Council which addresses rural health issues. With her expertise and experience in the areas of Mental Illness and Substance Abuse, she has served for the past 10 years on the House Special Task Force on Drug and Alcohol Abuse and focused on the development and expansion of drug and specialty courts and passed the Recovery in Employment project. Throughout the budget oversight process she has had significant input to the development of services for those citizens struggling with mental illness and substance abuse.
She continually advocates for treatment not only incarceration and would like to see significant aftercare programs not only for the seriously mentally ill but for teens through DJS and corrections since more that 75 percent of those in facilities have a substance abuse problem. She has also championed a treatment continuum for those with mental illness and early prevention and intervention as well. As a member on the Health and Human Resources subcommittee she advocates for adequate funding for services for the most vulnerable. Recognizing the need for parity in the service delivery and understanding of mental illness, she worked to develop a Tool Kit for Legislators thru the council of state government and the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI). The information was distributed to legislators across the country.