Southern Health Partners

The Southern Health Partners are a group of advocates from 12 Southern states working toward proactive state, regional, and national health care reform.

Community Catalyst's Southern Health Partners initiative, established in 2008, builds and strengthens the capacity of state-based consumer organizations that represent the needs and concerns of the uninsured, underinsured, and members of vulnerable populations.

The South as a region encompasses similar challenges with regard to health care needs, racial, ethnic and class disparities, poverty, and political environments. Similarly, policymakers from one Southern state often look to neighboring states when developing policy approaches. Community Catalyst supports Southern advocates to use this regional framework to improve health care access, affordability and quality, expand access to Medicaid, strengthen charity care and community benefit, and address substance use disorders and other local and state health policy issues.

Many of the Southern states have the highest percentage of uninsured populations in the country, with the majority of the uninsured living below 138 percent of the federal poverty level. Given this, the South can reap significant economic and health outcomes advances with implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Nearly 14 million people will either be newly eligible to receive health coverage through Medicaid expansion or a subsidy through the new health insurance Marketplaces. To ensure these benefits are actualized, Southern Health Partners advocates are now working to implement the ACA at the state level, which involves policy analysis and robust grassroots organizing campaigns.

Community Catalyst supports state advocates' work by providing assistance with various advocacy capacities, including coalition and stakeholder alliances, resource development, grassroots organizing, communications, and policy analysis and advocacy. Community Catalyst fosters a learning environment for Southern advocates to share best practices, explore new ideas and learn from each other's experience. The Southern Health Partners learning community connects advocates-giving them a needed forum to effectively collaborative with and learn from their peers through conference calls and regional meetings.

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