February 05, 2008
Health Care Reform Advocacy in 12 States Set to Receive a Boost
Twelve state-based consumer health advocacy groups have been selected by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and Community Catalyst to participate in a new grant project providing technical and financial resources to support state-wide health reform efforts. The organizations will participate in the Consumer Voices for Coverage grant initiative, which supports state health care coverage efforts by fostering strong and robust advocacy infrastructures.
“There is tremendous momentum in the states for implementing effective health care reform. We know from experience that the voices of consumers – the men and women who work hard each day to support their families – are often the most effective in driving necessary change,” said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., M.B.A., president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “As states launch ambitious health care reform efforts to ensure that more Americans have health insurance, advocates for consumers will be able to make their voices heard.”
Consumer Voices for Coverage will enhance the critical role that advocates play in shaping and promoting comprehensive health reform, and the $15 million initiative will strengthen existing networks within the 12 selected states. Community Catalyst, a national non-profit consumer health advocacy organization headquartered in Boston, will coordinate the effort nationwide.
State organizations chosen to lead Consumer Voices for Coverage networks in select states include:
California -- Health Access Foundation
Colorado -- Colorado Consumer Health Initiative
Illinois -- Campaign for Better Health Care
Maine -- Consumers for Affordable Health Care Foundation
Maryland -- Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative Education Fund, Inc.
Minnesota -- TakeAction Minnesota Education Fund
New Jersey -- New Jersey Citizen Action Education Fund
New York -- The Community Service Society
Ohio -- Universal Health Care Action Network of Ohio, Inc.
Oregon -- Oregon Health Action Campaign
Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia Unemployment Project/Unemployment Information Center
Washington -- Washington Community Action Network Education and Research Fund
“Each of these groups have been leaders in efforts to reform health care in their states. We are excited to work with such a strong group of organizations to increase momentum towards action in this state,” said Susan T. Sherry, deputy director of Community Catalyst, who directs Consumer Voices for Coverage. “Supporting networks that bring the views of real people to policy-makers and key thought leaders in the states about the need for coverage expansion can be a powerful inducement for reform.”
Additional information on Consumer Voices for Coverage can be found at www.voicesforcoverage.org.
About Community Catalyst
Community Catalyst is a national non-profit advocacy organization dedicated to quality affordable health care for all. Since 1997, Community Catalyst has been working to build the consumer and community leadership required to transform the American health system. With the belief that this transformation will happen when consumers are fully engaged and have an organized voice, Community Catalyst works in partnership with national, state and local consumer organizations, policymakers, and foundations, providing leadership and support to change the health care system so it serves everyone—especially vulnerable members of society. For more information, visit www.communitycatalyst.org.
About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. For more than 35 years, the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. By helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime.