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Health Care Leaders Honored for Work with Reform

May 6, 2010

BOSTON - Health Care For All is celebrating birthday number 25. The statewide advocacy organization located in Boston is noting the quarter-century mark at an event where the spotlight will also shine on three health care leaders in Massachusetts. The men have made significant contributions to health reform in their fields and in the communities they serve, says Amy Whitcomb-Slemmer, Health Care For All executive director.

"This year we're really excited to be able to reflect on the long journey that has brought us to the passage of national health reform."

Matt Fishman is one of the honorees. He is vice president of Community Health Partners HealthCare, Jamaica Plain. He points to the many strides in health care since the passage of reform in the state, and he looks forward to what the national health care reform law will bring to Massachusetts.

"I think the federal health care law will make a huge difference by making sure that an additional 100,000 people, or more, in our state have coverage. It will also make funds available to strengthen community health centers."

Jay Breines, executive director of Holyoke Health Center, is accepting an award on behalf of his community health center. He says that while state health care reform has brought greater access, there are still some who cannot afford insurance.

"The health center's job then again becomes to go back into the systems and find grant support and other supports for the people, a smaller percentage of them, who now come back as uninsured."

Also being honored is John Auerbach, commissioner of the Department of Public Health.

The annual celebration also aids in raising operating funds for the nonprofit, Health Care for All. It takes place Tuesday, May 11, at the Westin Copley Plaza Hotel, Boston.

Monique Coppola, Public News Service - MA