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Press release
January 23, 2018

Jennie Pirkl to Receive Families USA Health Care Coverage of the Year Award

Award Honors Years of Leadership in Coverage Efforts in Maine

Washington, D.C. – Families USA announced today that Jennie Pirkl, health care organizer at Maine People’s Alliance in the Greater Portland area of Maine, will be presented with this year’s Coverage Award in honor of her outstanding outreach contributions on behalf of Maine’s health care consumers.

Each year at the Health Action conference, Families USA recognizes the efforts state and community leaders make in advancing social justice through health care advocacy. In recognition of Families USA’s four core areas of focus: Health Equity, Health Care Value, Coverage, and Consumer Engagement, Ms. Pirkl will be recognized this Friday, January 26, at an awards luncheon on the second day of Families USA’s 23rd Annual Health Action Conference.

 “Jennie led campaign efforts for the Maine Medicaid expansion ballot initiative which won a resounding victory in November 2017,” said Patrick Willard, senior director overseeing the Health Action conference at Families USA. “Her efforts in a difficult political environment, reflect our theme this year to honor those who stay strong for America’s families.”

This past year, Jennie served as campaign manager for Mainer’s for Health Care, the campaign that made Maine the first state to successfully pass Medicaid expansion at the ballot. For Jennie, like for too many people in America, lack of access to health care is personal. Before the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed, she was a young adult working multiple jobs that did not offer her affordable health coverage. She got firsthand experience with how devastating the holes in the health care system are when she got sick and quickly got into debt because of her unaffordable medical bills. 

She is proud to have worked with a fantastic team of colleagues at Maine People’s Alliance and coalition partners in Maine and across the country to close those gaps and will continue working to improve the health care system so it works for everyone.

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Families USA, a leading national voice for health care consumers, is dedicated to the achievement of high-quality, affordable health care and improved health for all.