Biography

Representative Gayle Harrell (FL)

Immediate Past Chair, NFWL Board of Directors

Gayle Harrell was elected again to the Florida House of Representatives in 2010 representing District 81. She had previously served eight years in the Florida House from 2000 to 2008.

She has been an active member of the National Foundation for Women Legislators (NFWL) since being elected to the Florida House. During her eight years in the legislature she served on the Board of Directors, traveled to Bahrain as member of the NFWL delegation and recently was part of the NFWL delegation of seven elected and formerly elected women legislators to serve as official International Observers of the historic elections in Iraq.

While serving in the Legislature from 2000-2008, Representative Harrell was an active advocate for women and children, working to end domestic violence and human trafficking, improving access to healthcare and fighting prescription drug abuse. She has over 25 years of experience in healthcare. She has worked as a Healthcare Administrator, managing the Ob-Gyn. practice of Dr. James E. Harrell and was the founder of the Breast Imaging Center, a mammography center specializing in preventive care for women.

Her experience in healthcare made her a leader in setting healthcare policy for the State of Florida. A returning "freshman," she was selected to serve as Chair of the Health and Human Services Access Committee. During her service as a member of the Florida House of Representatives from 2000 to 2008 she served for 6 years as Chair of various Healthcare Committees including the Committee on Health Quality, the Healthcare General Committee and the Healthcare Standards Committee. She also served on the Healthcare Council and the Health and Human Services Appropriations Committee.

Representative Harrell is a nationally recognized leader in Health Information Technology and was appointed by Republican Leader John Boehner to the national Health Information Technology Policy Committee as established under ARRA 2009 (Stimulus Bill). This important committee is making recommendations to the Office of the National Coordinator and HHS on the implementation of the HITECH provisions of ARRA 2009 and the expenditure of over $44 billion to promote the use of electronic health records.

Representative Harrell has won numerous awards for her legislative service. Among her many awards she has received the Legislator of the Year by the Florida Medical Association, the Legislative Leadership Award by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the Legislative Award by the Florida Children's Forum, an "A" Ranking by the Florida Chamber of Commerce, the Friend of Free Enterprise Award by the Associated Builders and Contractors, the Legislative Achievement Award by Keep Florida Beautiful, and the Distinguished Legislator Award by the Florida Police Benevolent Association.

A resident of Florida's Treasure Coast for over 39 years, Representative Harrell is committed to serving her community, having served as president of many civic organizations such as Hibiscus Children's Center, the Barn Theatre, and the HPS - Helping People Succeed. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Spanish and a Master's Degree in Latin American History from the University of Florida, where she received the Edith Bristol Tigert Award as an Outstanding Female Graduate and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.