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Press release
January 20, 2012

Rachel Rosen DeGolia Recognized for Her Achievements as a Leading Health Care Advocate 

DeGolia Receives the Families USA Consumer Health Advocate of the Year Award
Washington, D.C.—Families USA, the national organization for health care consumers, today is presenting Rachel Rosen DeGolia with the Consumer Health Advocate of the Year Award at its annual Health Action conference.

The award, presented every year since 1998, recognizes outstanding contributions on behalf of our nation’s health care consumers. The award is being presented to DeGolia for her tireless leadership on both the state and national levels on behalf of health care consumers.

"Rachel has served for many years—and continues to serve—as Executive Director of a most remarkable organization, the Universal Health Care Action Network (UHCAN), which is currently marking its 20th anniversary," said Ron Pollack, Executive Director of Families USA.

"Rachel’s approach to health care issues is an instructive model for the way we all must see health reform—not as just a political fight or a material benefit, but rather as a real struggle for social justice in this nation. Today, we celebrate her work and her vision."

Headquartered in Cleveland and founded in 1992, UHCAN is a national network that supports state health care advocacy organizations and coalitions working to achieve health care for all, using multiple approaches and with diverse constituencies. DeGolia has worked for the group since its founding in 1992, moving from Communications Director to Organizing and Operations Director, then to Associate Director.

The national conference calls that DeGolia has organized and hosted for close to 15 years have become a hallmark of UHCAN’s work. The monthly calls feature timely discussions of issues and campaigns for grassroots leaders across the full spectrum of the broader health care movement. DeGolia is also a board member of the National Physicians Alliance and serves on the Coordinating Committee of the Herndon Alliance.

Before coming to work for UHCAN, DeGolia worked in the civil liberties field. For 13 years, she directed the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights, an affiliate of the National Committee against Repressive Legislation. She served on the governing bodies of the Alliance to End Repression, the Illinois affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, and as a founding member of the Illinois Coalition against the Death Penalty.

DeGolia received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago and a master’s degree in Public Administration with a concentration in nonprofit management from the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University.