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Press release
January 23, 2018

Jesse O’Brien to Receive Families USA Health Care Value Advocate of the Year Award

Award Honors Years of Leadership on Improving Affordability and Health Care Value

Washington, D.C. – Families USA announced today that Jesse Ellis O’Brien, policy director of the Oregon State Public Interest Research Group (OSPIRG), will be presented with this year’s Health Care Value Advocate Award in honor of his exceptional advocacy and commitment to improving affordability and health care value for all Oregonians.

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. Awards are presented in recognition of Families USA’s four core areas of focus: Health Equity, Health Care Value, Coverage, and Consumer Engagement. Mr. O’Brien will be recognized this Friday, January 26, at an awards luncheon on the second day of Families USA’s 23rd Annual Health Action Conference for his contributions to Health Care Value. 

“Jesse has long been recognized as a leader, not just in Oregon, but on the national level for his leadership in fighting for health care affordability and value,” said Patrick Willard, senior director overseeing the Health Action conference at Families USA. “His efforts to make health care affordable for people in Oregon and across the country despite a difficult national political climate reflect our theme to honor those who stay strong for America’s families.”

In his role at OSPIRG, O’Brien leads the organization’s health care work, researching and advocating for strategies for Oregon to lower the cost of health care while improving quality. He also directs OSPIRG's Health Insurance Rate Watch Project, overseeing efforts to analyze health insurers' proposed premium increases and push back against unjustified and excessive rate hikes. 

Jesse also serves as Health Care Advocate for US PIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups, where he helps coordinate advocacy to improve the value proposition of health care for consumers nationwide. He serves as Vice Chair of the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace Advisory Committee, and on many state policy task forces and workgroups in Oregon. O’Brien also serves as a Consumer Representative at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). 

An Oregon native with a background in social work, Jesse received his MSW from Portland State University. He has also worked with the Oregon chapter of the National Association of Social Workers and as a Legislative staffer in the Oregon State Capitol. He is a graduate of Swarthmore College.

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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.