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PHI VP Appointed to CMS Advisory Panel

October 1, 2015

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) appointed Robert Espinoza, PHI vice president of policy, to serve on its Advisory Panel on Outreach and Education (APOE), beginning September 8.

The APOE is responsible for making recommendations to the secretary of HHS and the CMS administrator on optimizing education and outreach strategies for the nation’s public coverage programs: Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and the Health Insurance Market.

“I’m deeply honored to join an esteemed national panel of experts in advising HHS and CMS on their outreach and education,” Espinoza said. “Many low-income, underserved people around the country rely on important programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, and the Health Insurance Marketplaces, and I look forward to strengthening their knowledge and access to these supports.”

Appointees to the APOE are selected for their expertise in one or more fields, including senior citizen advocacy; outreach to minority communities; health communications; disability policy and access; and matters of labor and retirement. Up to 20 members serve on the panel for a two-year term, according to the APOE Charter (pdf).

“Robert Espinoza brings a wide breadth of expertise to the Advisory Panel on Outreach & Education, including strategic communications, outreach to marginalized populations, and labor issues,” said PHI President Jodi M. Sturgeon. “We commend CMS for recognizing the valuable contribution that Robert will make to improving access to public programs that make it possible for underserved people to access care, including millions of direct-care workers, older people, and people with disabilities.”

Espinoza leads PHI’s policy advocacy, research, and analysis at the state and national level to strengthen the direct-care workforce and prepare the nation to care for a growing population of elders and people with disabilities. He also serves on the Institute of Medicine‘s Aging, Disability and Independence Forum, as well as advisory boards for the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Aging Today, the national newspaper for the American Society on Aging.

Prior to joining PHI, Espinoza served as the senior director for public policy and communications at SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders), the country’s largest organization focused on improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) older people, where he helped achieve historic wins and numerous distinctions for SAGE’s national advocacy program. His awards include two GLAAD distinctions for excellence in marketing and eight awards from the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts (AIVA), including the “Gold Award of Excellence” (AIVA’s highest honor) for his work on the “Out & Visible” market research report on LGBT aging.

— by Deane Beebe

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