Interview: Bobby Peterson: (608)261-6939 or Brynne McBride (608)261-6939

Madison, WI– Please join state, regional, and local advocates committed to improving access to health care and coverage for all people in Wisconsin as they gather with policymakers from the Evers Administration and WI Legislature at the 12th annual HealthWatch Wisconsin, March 5 & 6 at the Madison Masonic Center. Stakeholders will discuss possible changes in the Wisconsin healthcare and coverage landscape. This year’s conference is titled, “Change: Improving Access to Health Care & Coverage,” with a focus on connecting children and low-income, disparity families to health coverage and services.

Concurrent with the conference, on Wednesday, March 6 HealthWatch will again recognize those doing outstanding work in the community. This year we recognize both of our honorees for lifetime achievements. They include:

  • Lynn Green, Director, Dane County Human Services, recipient of the 2018 Amy Mendel-Clemens Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Former Senator Kathleen Vinehout, recipient of the 2018 Elected Official Award

Brynne McBride, HealthWatch Wisconsin Director and COO of ABC for Health, Inc., says, “We are thrilled to present Lynn Green with our 2018 Amy Mendel-Clemens Lifetime Achievement award for her decades of service to Dane County families and individuals.” While HealthWatch annually recognizes an individual for outstanding advocacy in health care and coverage, McBride continues, “This year presents a unique opportunity to celebrate Lynn’s 50 years of service.” The award is named for Amy Mendel-Clemens, herself a life-long advocate for low-income and underserved families. In 2015, the advocacy community lost a dear friend and leader with the unexpected passing of Mendel-Clemens. With the blessing of Amy’s family and colleagues, HealthWatch recognizes special nominations with an award named in her memory. McBride continues, “Amy was an engaging and committed leader. She did all things with grace, kindness, and a passion for justice. We truly believe she would be touched to know Lynn was the recipient of her namesake award.”

HealthWatch Wisconsin will also honor former Senator Kathleen Vinehout, a champion of health care access and accountability in the Wisconsin State Senate for over 12 years. McBride continues, “Kathleen led efforts to improve access to health care and coverage, especially for rural constituents. She did her homework; she did the math; and she tried to do what was fair.” In her early years in the Senate, Kathleen proposed legislation to expand health coverage to all Wisconsinites, and save the state money in the process. BadgerCare Plus expansion conversations continue with even more urgency and ferocity. “HealthWatch Wisconsin is pleased to celebrate Kathleen Vinehout’s commitment to the health of her constituents in rural, western Wisconsin and her efforts to make Wisconsin healthy,” says McBride.

If You Go: The 12th Annual HealthWatch Wisconsin Conference is March 5, 1pm-5pm & March 6, 9am-5pm (Award ceremony is 12pm on March 6) at the Madison Masonic Center, 301 Wisconsin Ave, Madison (E. Johnson Street Entrance). To Register: Registration is required to attend the full HealthWatch conference. There is no cost to attend the awards ceremony. Conference registration information is online: Press packets will be available for media.

HealthWatch Wisconsin, Inc. is a subsidiary of ABC for Health, Inc., a Wisconsin-based, nonprofit, public interest law firm dedicated to linking children and families, particularly those with special health care needs, to health care benefits and services. HealthWatch Wisconsin gathers public health professionals to learn about access to health care and coverage issues and amplify the voices of low income or underserved individuals in Wisconsin.

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