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Joyce looks forward to solving problems

Physician ready to tackle new line of service

Dr. John Joyce is poised for his next venture.

The long-time Altoona dermatologist will be sworn in as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives on Jan. 3, representing the newly created 13th District.

Joyce will be a good fit, said Maggie Sheely, manager of congressional and public affairs, Great Lakes Region, U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

“From our standpoint, it is good to have someone coming into Congress who has had a career before Congress. It is nice to have a doctor and someone who owns a small business who can bring a unique perspective on things like the workforce and opioid crisis,” Sheely said.

“I have presented myself as a homegrown tomato. I feel that strongly, this is my community. I feel a strong allegiance to this community when I go to Washington,” Joyce told members of the Blair County Chamber of Commerce Breakfast Club on Thursday at The Casino at Lakemont Park.

“This is a transition from a career serving 25 years as a physician to a new line of service. What is most important to me is secondary to what is best for our community,” he said.

Joyce said he didn’t envision going to Washington as part of the minority party.

“I am joining an incredible group of people. You work as a team together and get a lot more done, you get less done as a minority member,” Joyce said.

He said he hopes to be appointed to the Energy and Commerce Committee which deals with things like Marcellus Shale and health care issues.

“The worst thing to do is act like you know it all. I am presenting myself as someone who will work with the team,” Joyce said.

Joyce said the opioid crisis is a major issue.

“It affects the workplace, communities and health care. Another issue to address is pre-existing conditions. Pre-existing conditions need to be covered,” Joyce said. “I am an advocate of fair market conditions not an advocate of Medicare for all. Universal health care, no one can afford. There are viable options; we can reach common ground.”

Joyce also supports a strong military.

“Throughout the campaign, I talked about maintaining a strong military. I am an advocate. It is no longer a luxury, but it is a necessity. When you see violence throughout the world, you realize our strong military is so important to each of us in this room,” Joyce said.

Joyce said he considers himself a problem solver.

“I think it is possible. Going in as a freshman member, being part of the majority would have allowed me more impact,” Joyce said.

Joyce said he will maintain his medical license, but his wife, Alice, will run the family business. He said he also will keep up with continuing education.

Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 946-647.

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