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A Healthy Miami: Addressing Medical Debt & Achieving Medicaid Expansion


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Emily Stewart | she/her
Executive Director, Community Catalyst

In this role, Emily oversees the overall direction of Community Catalyst’s work to its mission of building the power of people. She is responsible for the strategic, programmatic, financial, and operational leadership of the organization, as well as for its 501(c)4 affiliate, the Community Catalyst Action Fund.

Emily brings more than two decades of health care advocacy, campaign, and organizing experience to the role.

Most recently, Emily served as vice president of public policy for Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund. At Planned Parenthood, Emily led strategic initiatives and campaigns to protect and expand access to sexual and reproductive health care, including the “I Stand with Planned Parenthood” campaign to defeat efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and “defund” Planned Parenthood. Emily also oversaw Planned Parenthood’s ACA implementation advocacy, including the successful effort to guarantee no co-pay coverage for birth control for 60 million women in America.

Prior to her work at Planned Parenthood, Emily managed health policy and advocacy initiatives for a range of progressive organizations focused on advancing people’s health and rights. She lives in Boston with her husband.

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Jared Walker
Founder, Dollar For

Jared Walker founded Dollar For in 2012 in Portland, Oregon. Dollar For was born out of a desire to help folks in medical crises after watching his own family’s experience. Jared is on a mission to crush as many medical bills as he can while making charity care known, easy, and fair.

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Nicole Dozier | she/her
Director of Health Advocacy Project, North Caroline Justice Center

Nicole Dozier, Director of the Health Advocacy Project is a 27-year veteran of the North Carolina Justice Center, a statewide non-profit organization committed to eliminating poverty through various issue areas deploying diverse strategies. She works alongside team members that she describes as the most committed, strategic, effective advocates she knows. Beginning well over a decade ago, this Project in partnership with other incredible state and national partners and leaders, with investment from committed funders, with the people most directly impacted as the centerpiece, North Carolina expanded Medicaid, the most major legislative policy victory in a decade.

Nicole also understands the impact of local policy and initiatives that are sustained beyond your service, having served as Mayor Pro Tempore of a small town, where she helped create and expand initiatives around community engagement; transparency; anti-poverty; diversity, inclusion and belonging; championed the Senior Center where she was honored with a lounge bearing her name; and led efforts resulting in paid parental, caregiver and bereavement leaves; expanding the family definition under FMLA, instituting a living wage and COVID-19 hazard pay.

Nicole’s recent policy awards include: Order of the Long Leaf Pine (Governor’s highest recognition for service), National Coalition of 100 Black Women Policy Award, NC AIDS Action Network Advocate of the Year and Citizen of the Year.

Nicole received a BA degree in Industrial Relations with Sociology concentration from UNC - Chapel Hill in 1988 where she also pledged Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. in 1987 and is featured in the university’s Women with Moxie Oral History Project.

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Alison Yager (Moderator)
Executive Director, Florida Health Justice Project

Alison is an attorney with nearly 30 years of experience. She is passionate about addressing the social and political determinants of health that drive health disparities. She is currently the Executive Director of Florida Health Justice Project, a not-for-profit that engages in a range of advocacy strategies to expand health care access and promote health equity. She is a graduate of Swarthmore College and UCLA School of Law’s Program in Public Interest Law and Policy. She began her legal career as an Equal Justice Works Fellow working with youth at The Door's Legal Service Center in Manhattan, and spent nearly 10 years engaged in legal services and policy advocacy at HIV Law Project in New York City. She then served as Director of Policy for Maternal, Infant and Reproductive Health at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, until coming to Miami and joining the Florida Health Justice Project in 2018.