Health Care for All Washington held our first virtual Annual Meeting on November 15, and we were so gratified to have the best turnout EVER. Things went surprisingly smoothly for our first webinar-style presentation that included panelists! We saw participant numbers reach into 100, and we had 44 voting members participate in the business meeting.
You can access the full meeting as well as individual speaker segments on our YouTube page here.
Recap continues below the full meeting video:
Board President Marcia Stedman warmly (video below) welcomed us and brought the meeting to order, presented the agenda, and gave a summary of the previous year’s challenges and accomplishments, and our objectives for the coming year.
Keynote Speaker Ben Danielson (video below) informed and inspired us with a powerful message, that we need to have the courage and determination of Ruby Bridges to eliminate health disparities rooted in racism. Inequitable health outcomes are not based in race, but rather in racism. (For an expansion of this idea, check out this article which features UW med students' work). Undoing racism and bias requires more than agreement and good intentions, it requires reparations, enhancing opportunities and inclusive, diverse leadership. Dr. Danielson challenged the audience to consider whether incrementalism in health care reform could be the enemy of great progress.
We’ll know we’re on the right track when people of color’s belonging is unquestioned, celebrated, and assumed. When it does not need to be asserted; it’s felt, not demanded.-- Dr. Ben Danielson
Cindi Laws, HCFA-WA Lobbyist (video below)
Cindi reported on our recent legislative efforts and successes in her usual clear and concise way, explaining the bills and their significance to the larger healthcare and political landscapes. Check out her talk and you’ll be in the know about health legislation in WA. Impress your friends and spread the message!
Senator Patty Kuderer (video below)
Senator Kuderer delivered a moving personal story of her daughter’s healthcare needs and how the Senator had to fight as a "momma bear" to get insurance to cover needed life-saving treatment. She realized how bankrupt our healthcare system is and that it only works for people with resources. She describes it as a “Frankenstein” fragmented model which is inefficient and costly. She’s exploring a multi-state universal health compact between California, Oregon, and Washington.
Pat Cashman and Kevin Wren (video below) headed up our fundraising “paddle call”. This short video clip features Pat and Kevin speaking about personal experiences that brought them to support universal health care and our mission.
Pat and Kevin entertained and motivated us to financially support HCFA-WA and the Board provided a $5,000 matching fund. Participants stepped up and made the match! We made great strides but we still need your help to meet the budget and keep our momentum going.
Rep. Marcus Riccelli (video below) talks about his legislative priorities including avoiding budget and program cuts, #foodishealth, oral health access, digital inequity and its effect on health, and finding progressive revenue opportunities such as an insurer tax on lives covered. He calls on us to communicate with newly elected state representatives. Lots of meaty policy talk in the question period with Cindi!
Board President Marcia Stedman presided over the business meeting where members voted to approve the FY 2020-21 budget, changes to the by-laws, which included strengthening legal and governance concerns, and financial sustainability, and the use of electronic meetings. Members voted to approve the slate of Board of Directors for 2020-21 as presented:
Marcia Stedman was elected as President for the 2020-22 two-year term.
Ronnie Shure will continue as Vice-President to complete his 2019-21 term.
The Advisory Board was recognized and appreciated and consists of Jeff Johnson, David Loud, and Mary Margaret Pruitt who is also serving temporarily as the Secretary.
The meeting finished with a fond farewell and thank you to Dana Iorio who is stepping down from the Board as Treasurer and who has served HCFA-WA in many capacities over the years.
Phew! And that’s a wrap-up of the Annual Meeting. Do check out the speaker videos, they were all inspiring and informative. Thank you for engaging with us!
We also want to recognize and thank, in addition to the speakers, those who helped to organize, rehearse and facilitate the meeting so ably behind the scenes:
DW Clark, Sydnie Jones, Lily Lucas, Peter Lucas, Erica Nealious-Grall, Ronnie Shure, and Hal Stockbridge.