By, Dora Muhammad, VICPP Health Care Organizer —
After launching Health Care Hope this past September, our Medicaid expansion outreach campaign took us around the Commonwealth engaging with faith leaders, congregations, community leaders, local Social Services departments, local health departments, clinical staff, health care advocates and media. Our 2018 work culminated in two extremely successful events – a resource fair at the Prince William Area Free Clinic in Woodbridge and a networking luncheon with health care advocates including the local Department of Social Services and members of the Martinsville-Henry County Ministerial Association in Martinsville.
The greatest lessons learned from our Health Care Hope campaign thus far is exemplified in what made these events so successful and provides insight into the best practices that we will focus on modeling in other areas as we amplify our work in 2019. Both events were hosted by sites with leadership and staff who invested their time and thought into every aspect of the event’s logistics and promotion within their network and community. Both hosts are active members of vibrant health care coalitions within their communities. And faith leaders who supported or attended the events participated with a clear commitment to lay a foundation of trust and respect. These elements are essential as we work to deliver Health Care Hope to the uninsured in 2019.
Medicaid enrollment is year-round and so our work continues as a stakeholder supporting the Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) in its efforts to implement expansion. We will educate, equip and mobilize congregations to support the process. We will focus on amplifying our educational outreach within Latino congregations and rural congregations while also increasing the diversity of faith traditions committed to becoming Health Care Hope advocacy partners. We are growing our Health Care Hope ambassador network and will work with congregations to host enrollment events. We will also launch an amazing storytelling project about how Medicaid expansion transforms the life of the uninsured and their communities. We remain vigilant in our opposition to work documentation requirements for Medicaid recipients and will continue to be an active voice within the HAV Coalition in supporting our collective work around Medicaid expansion.
We are grateful to every individual who became a part of Health Care Hope in 2018 and we look forward to working with you to deliver more in the year to come!
Photo (l-r): Prince William Area Free Clinic Executive Director Caitlin Denney, Anthem HealthKeepers NOVA Representative Canek Aguirre, State Delegate Elizabeth Guzman, VICPP Health Care Organizer Dora Muhammad and Young Invincibles Health Care Advocate Maani Stewart.