Patrick Willard is the Senior Director of State and National Strategic Partnerships for Families USA, overseeing the organization’s work with advocacy partners in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. He leads a team that brings resources and critical assistance to move health care initiatives forward in the states. His work includes managing the organization’s annual Health Action Conference, which brings more than 500 state and national health care advocates to Washington, D.C. each year to focus on expanding coverage and access to high-quality health care. Mr. Willard brings more than 25 years of experience with state and local governments on issues ranging from Medicaid funding for the elderly to livability initiatives for cities.
Prior to joining Families USA, Mr. Willard worked for AARP in Washington, D.C. as a state health policy coordinator and as an advocate in Tennessee. As a member of AARP’s State Health and Finance team, he coordinated the organization’s efforts to work with state offices and support the Medicaid expansion established under the Affordable Care Act.
As Advocacy Director of AARP’s Tennessee state office, Mr. Willard led the consumer effort to expand home- and community-based services through the Long-Term Care Community Choices Act. The Choices Act resulted in doubling the percentage of enrollees in the state’s community services programs in the first two years of the program, and has been recognized as a model for balancing long-term care funding.
Before joining AARP, Mr. Willard worked in the local, state, and federal branches. He served as senior policy advisor to the mayor of Nashville, Tennessee, as chief of staff to the Tennessee House Majority Leader, and as senior legislative assistant to the ranking member of the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee.
Mr. Willard holds a Bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University and a Master’s degree from Columbia University.