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Press release
January 21, 2019

Families USA Announces Consumer Health Advocates of the Year Award Winners

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today Families USA announced four winners of its Consumer Health Advocate of the Year award. The award recipients, selected for their exemplary work in championing for better health care in their respective communities, will be honored at an awards luncheon during the 2019 Health Action Conference on Friday, Jan. 25 at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill.

Each year at its 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.

Patrick Willard, senior director of state and national strategic partnerships at Families USA said, “The outstanding work that is improving health care coverage, equity and innovation in states and communities is part of a broader movement. Families USA believes the leaders of this movement should be recognized and encouraged for leading the way to a better health care future for this nation.  Each of our winners embodies the mold of leaders who are on the frontlines, advocating for better, more accessible health care for the families and individuals in their states and across the nation. And their notable achievements personify this year’s conference theme: Fighting for America’s Families.”

The awardees are: Sherry Hirota, chief executive officer, Asian Health Services, for Health Equity; Brian Johns, executive director, Virginia Organizing, for Health Coverage; Maura Collinsgru, health care program director, New Jersey Citizen Action, for Health Care Value; and Cara Stewart, health law fellow, Kentucky Equal Justice Center, for Consumer Engagement. Philippe Villers, Families USA founder and chairman, will present the awards. Awardee bios are here.

Families USA is a bipartisan public interest group that has been fighting for health care consumers since 1981. Its Health Action Conference, in its 24th year, is an annual national grassroots health care conference that gathers consumer health care activists, health care professionals, advocates, policymakers, policy experts, and media to confer on the nation’s health care agenda. Families USA welcomes Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh; Sister Simone Campbell, Executive Director of NETWORK; Stacey Abrams, Founder, Fair Fight; Chirlane McCray, First Lady of New York City and Founder of Thrive NYC; and Rep. Sharice Davids (D-KS-3) as 2019 keynote speakers.

Also released today were the names of organizations selected as 2019 Health Care Wave Award winners, who Willard said, were tapped for their efforts to expand health care coverage through a 2018 Medicaid Expansion ballot measure.” The winning organizations are Idaho Voices for Children, Nebraska Appleseed, and Utah Health Policy Project.

While online conference registration is closed, individuals who are interested in attending can register at the onsite registration desk starting Wednesday, January 23 at 5:00 pm. Members of the media may request a press pass via email at press@familiesusa.org

Event: Consumer Health Advocate of the Year Awards Luncheon 
Date: Friday, Jan. 25, 2019   Time: 12:15 pm-1:45 pm
Location: Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, 400 New Jersey Avenue NW, Regency Ballroom