As we approach the end of 2017, I am filled with gratitude for our colleagues, our fellow advocates, our partners and our champions. 2017 has not been an easy year, but you inspired, challenged and accompanied us in our shared journey to create a health system that better meets the needs of vulnerable consumers and communities, even in a time of uncertainty and tumult.

A few highlights from our year:

Over 7,800 people reached by our partners in the Consumer Voices for Innovation program, which focuses on organizing consumers to engage with health systems and policymakers to improve care;

Almost 5,000 participants in total tuned in to the 9 webinars we delivered with CMS on geriatric competent care and meaningful consumer engagement;

34 hours of training we conducted with consumers and consumer leaders to improve their skills and expertise as advocates and advisory committee members;

24 health system leaders joined us in March to highlight the impact ACA repeal and Medicaid cuts would have on innovation and coverage;

10 consumers, older adults, people with disabilities and parents of special needs kids who generously shared their stories with us on our website;

8 advocacy partner organizations working to transform health care in their state through the Consumer Advocacy for Transformation program;

3 amazing Medicare-Medicaid beneficiaries who traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet with legislative and administration leaders to share their insights on improving care for duals;

2 wonderful years since our Center was established; and

1 big thing we are grateful for this year – which is YOU!

We expect that health care will be front and center in 2018, with more threats to core programs like Medicaid and Medicare. But if the last year has taught us anything, it’s that by joining together and raising our voices we can make ourselves heard.

Thank you for being part of the Center’s family. I look forward to working with you in the new year toward better health, for everyone. Happy holidays!