This month, we are thrilled to announce the Center’s second annual Speak Up for Better Health award! This prize recognizes extraordinary people working to improve their health and the health of their communities. We see in our work every day the consumer champions whose lives and actions demonstrate the power that each of us has to make better health possible for all of us.

This year’s award will recognize people who are working to address the social, environmental and economic factors – e.g., housing, transportation or nutrition – that play a crucial role in our health. We will select a grand prize winner and up to three additional honorees. The grand prize includes $500 and the opportunity to travel to the award ceremony in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 20. Nominations are due Sept. 6. Please nominate a consumer champion today!

I am particularly thrilled that last year’s winner, Elena Hung, is joining this year’s wonderful panel of judges. Elena co-founded the advocacy organization Little Lobbyists at a friend’s kitchen table, as she says, “by accident.” It was June 2017, and she was terrified the Affordable Care Act would be repealed, leaving families like her’s, whose children have complex medical needs, defenseless and at risk of bankruptcy. She and her dedicated partners built Little Lobbyists into a powerful voice for children with complex medical needs. She will be joining Tara Oakman, senior program officer, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Barbara Petee, executive director, the Root Cause Coalition, Soma Saha, vice president, Institute for Healthcare Improvement and Loel Solomon, vice president for community health, Kaiser Permanente, to help us select our honorees.