PHLP Celebrates Anniversary and Honors Health Care Champions in Pittsburgh
On Wednesday, May 29, 2013, PHLP celebrated 20 years of incorporation at the DoubleTree Pittsburgh Downtown. At the breakfast, a diverse group of Western Pennsylvania health care stakeholders such as insurers, health providers, lawyers, and consumers gathered to honor PHLP’s achievements and foster ties for further collaboration. The breakfast included an award ceremony where PHLP staff recognized four Health Care Champions: Staunton Farm Foundation
, East Liberty Family Health Care Center
, Matthew Moses, Esq.
(former PHLP Board Member), and Southwestern Pennsylvania Area Agency on Aging
Photo: PHLP Executive Director Laval Miller-Wilson, Keynote Speaker Alan Meisel, PHLP Senior Attorney Fran Chervenak
The breakfast culminated in an inspiring speech by University of Pittsburgh School of Law Professor Alan Meisel
. In his keynote address, Professor Meisel highlighted the essential need for PHLP’s legal advocacy on behalf of consumers and its positive impact in Pennsylvania families and communities.
PHLP would like to thank everyone who attended the breakfast and our supporters over the last two decades. Please be sure to read our event tribute book
and Professor Meisel's keynote address
to learn more about PHLP’s achievements over the last 20 years.
PHLP Hosts Soros Justice Fellow to Connect People Leaving Jail to Health Services
PHLP is proud to welcome Maureen Barden, who will be serving as a 2013-2014 Soros Justice Fellow
through a grant from the Open Society Foundation
. After six years as the federal re-entry coordinator in Philadelphia and the preceding seventeen years as a federal prosecutor, Maureen joins PHLP for an 18-month fellowship project to connect people leaving incarceration with access to health care.
Maureen’s fellowship project aims to ensure re-entering individuals have health insurance coverage when they leave prison and that this coverage translates into meaningful access to care. In the coming months, Maureen will develop model principles and practices for how to utilize the ACA to afford uninterrupted access to health care for individuals leaving prison. Based on this model, Maureen will begin to implement these practices in pilot jurisdictions.
Maureen can be reached at email@example.com
Client Continues to Work after PHLP Protects Her Eligibility for Medicaid
Last month, “Alissa”, a 38-year-old woman from Allegheny County, received a notice from the County Assistance Office (CAO) terminating her Medical Assistance benefits. Alissa was enrolled in the Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities (MAWD) program, and was told her income was above the program’s limits.
Alissa was alarmed – she depends on access to quality health coverage to manage her behavioral health challenges related to depression and anxiety. Only with the support of weekly mental health therapy and medications covered by MAWD can Alissa successfully work. Furthermore, Alissa’s income had recently decreased, so she did not understand how the CAO could think she was making too much to qualify for MAWD. Concerned and confused by the CAO’s letter, Alissa turned to PHLP for help.
PHLP’s staff immediately recognized Alissa’s need and stepped in to advocate for her. PHLP contacted a supervisor at the CAO who could not explain why the office had ended Alissa’s health coverage. The CAO agreed the termination was improper and found Alissa eligible for Medical Assistance. Moreover, because of her decreased income, Alissa qualified for a different category of Medical Assistance, rather than MAWD, meaning that she no longer needed to pay a monthly premium for health insurance.
Health coverage makes a difference for Pennsylvanians living with mental illness. With the right help people recover. Alissa’s case is one example of PHLP’s daily commitment to ensure people in recovery have access to quality services and supports.