New Grants Aim to Boost Consumer Voice in the Changing Health Care Landscape


Jack Cardinal, (781) 960-5208

Boston, MA — Community Catalyst is pleased to announce the launch of the Consumer Advocacy for Transformation program, which, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, will fund state and local consumer health advocacy organizations who are pursuing health system changes that aim to develop and insert an organized, influential and permanent consumer voice in state and local health system. Community Catalyst’s Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation (the Center), which spearheads the organization’s work on health system transformation efforts, will provide critical oversight and expertise for the program.

“At this time of massive changes in our health system, it is essential that consumers are represented in decisions that will affect their care,” said David Adler, senior program officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “The foundation is proud to support consumers’ advocates who are working towards a higher-value, more patient-centered health system.”

“We’re excited to host this timely and important initiative,” said Ann Hwang, MD, director of the Center. “As the health system rapidly changes, policymakers and health system leaders need to hear from those people who have the most to gain – or lose. We believe that the strong voice of consumers and communities - particularly those with complex health and social challenges - will be critical for achieving a higher-value, more patient-centered health care system.”

The two-year grants will support projects that are part of a larger effort to increase health care value by ensuring access to care, improving health outcomes and lowering costs, especially for populations with disproportionately poor health outcomes. The grantees and their projects are:

  • Alabama Arise Citizens’ Policy Project (ACPP) who will recruit and equip consumer representatives to shape new models of care as the state rethinks its Medicaid transformation strategy;
  • Health Access California and the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network who will focus on better addressing the holistic health needs of individual consumers (including mental health and oral health), reducing health disparities and improving health outcomes for Californians served by Medicaid (Medi-Cal), the Exchange (Covered California) and county-based health systems and safety-net programs;
  • Colorado Consumer Health Initiative who will increase advocacy capacity to sustain the organized and influential grassroots consumer voice necessary to ensure high quality care as Colorado restructures its Medicaid payment and delivery system reform effort, the Accountable Care Collaborative (ACC);
  • Idaho Voices for Children who will work to improve care and address disparities and inequities within Idaho’s system for adults and children in need of behavioral health care by advancing the integration of behavioral health and primary care;
  • North Carolina Justice Center (NCJC) who will mobilize and educate a network of consumers in order to shape the state’s Medicaid transformation initiative;
  • Pennsylvania Health Access Network (PHAN) who will elevate consumer voices as Pennsylvania accelerates its use of Medicaid managed care to control spending by seeking important consumer protections, supporting greater quality and efficiency for both consumers and providers, and securing housing-related supports in Medicaid;
  • Tennessee Disability Coalition who will organize family- and consumer-based advocacy to shape Tennessee’s managed long-term services and supports program for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities; and
  • West Virginians for Affordable Health Care who will engage parents, schools and providers to strengthen opportunities for schools and the health care system to work together to improve health.


About Community Catalyst

Community Catalyst is a national, non-profit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1998 with the belief that affordable quality health care should be accessible to everyone. We work in partnership with national, state and local organizations, policymakers, and philanthropic foundations to ensure consumer interests are represented wherever important decisions about health and the health system are made: in communities, courtrooms, statehouses and on Capitol Hill. For more information, visit Read our blog at Follow us on Twitter @healthpolicyhub.

About the Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation

The Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation at Community Catalyst serves as a hub devoted to teaching, learning and sharing knowledge to bring the consumer experience to the forefront of health innovation in order to deliver better care, better value and better health for every community, particularly vulnerable and historically underserved populations. The Center’s work is supported through investments in state and local advocacy, leadership development, research and evaluation, and consultative services to delivery systems and health plans. Visit or follow them on Twitter @CCEHI to learn more and follow their work.

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. We are striving to build a national Culture of Health that will enable all to live longer, healthier lives now and for generations to come. For more information, visit Follow the Foundation on Twitter at or on Facebook at

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