Here are the names and short bios for all who graced our microphones:
Anne Feeney – Traveling folksinger/agitator from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For almost 40 years Anne has been performing and occasionally writing songs for people in struggle. She is a perennial favorite of labor and single-payer activists, performing at demonstrations and conferences around the country.
Cathy Courtney – Chant Leader. Cathy serves as Secretary for Health Care for All Texas, and is an activist for Medicare for All and many other causes. She holds a Master’s degree in Public Health and has seen the healthcare system from the inside. Her energy and enthusiasm makes her the perfect chant leader for the Rally!
David Ball – HJM/R Legislative Liaison and Volunteer Coordinator. David founded the SC chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) and is the liaison of the chapter with the National Office. He received his Bachelor of Science in nursing from the University of Florida and a Master’s in health administration from the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). During his 20-plus years in nursing, he has practiced in critical care, emergency medicine, med/surg and federal occupational health. He currently holds the rank of lieutenant colonel in the Air Force Reserve and brings his skills in operational management to the volunteers at the HJM, as well as his tenacious diplomacy that resulted in securing many of our speakers.
Sue Saltmarsh – Founder of Drive for Universal Healthcare (DUH) and Director of the Healthcare Justice March. A relatively new activist, Sue worked for 20 years in the HIV/AIDS field, first as a certified clinical herbalist and energy therapist and finally as copy editor and writer for Positively Aware magazine. Before her “HIV chapter,” she was immersed in the arts as a costumer and toured the world for 10 years as Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s first Wardrobe Supervisor. As with many healthcare activists, it was her own diagnosis in 2008 with an auto-immune liver disease, as well as her concern about people living with HIV, that motivated her to become involved with the single-payer movement. Sue hopes the Healthcare Justice March will be the start of a new era of fierce activism that welcomes all people, proving that we mean it when we say, “Everybody in, nobody out!”
Dr. Margaret Flowers – Pediatrician, single-payer and social justice activist, co-founder of Popular Resistance, co-director ItsOurEconomy.us, co-host http://ClearingtheFOGRadio.org. Dr. Flowers earned her medical degree at Johns Hopkins and began her career in pediatrics as a hospitalist (a doctor who sees, recommends treatment for, and monitors patients while they’re in the hospital) in a rural hospital. Her frustration with health insurance bureaucrats who interfered with her treatment of patients based on what the insurance company could get away with drove her to realize that she would not be able to practice medicine for her patients’ sake and she left the field to become a leader in the fight for single-payer healthcare. She has appeared on the Bill Moyers Journal, testified in front of Congressional committees and on panels, and been arrested multiple times, including once while trying to deliver a letter to President Obama. She is a courageous and driving force behind social justice activism of all kinds, especially healthcare.
Kevin Zeese – Lawyer, author, social justice activist, co-founder of Popular Resistance, co-director of ItsOurEconomy.US, co-host radio show, http://ClearingTheFogRadio.org. Kevin Zeese began his advocacy career in 1980 as Chief Counsel for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) and served as its Executive Director from 1983 to 1986. In 2004 Kevin served as press secretary for Ralph Nader’s presidential campaign and in 2006, ran for Senate himself as the Maryland Green Party’s candidate, losing to incumbent Ben Cardin. His drive to create positive change in the world spans such causes as drug policy reform, peace, voting rights, economic justice, truth in politics and most recently, the fight to stop the TPP.
Donna Ellington – Social Media Director for Drive for Universal Healthcare and Assistant Director of the Healthcare Justice March. Donna is a retired school psychologist, an Air Force veteran and has been a healthcare activist since 2008, serving as president of Americans for Healthcare before breaking away to form Americans for Healthcare, Too. Donna became part of the DUH team in 2013 and soon took the anemic Facebook presence from 347 to almost 11,000 likes, as well as creating DUH’s presence on Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, and more. Her tireless search for articles and images to post daily keeps both DUH and the HJM pages vital and growing and earned DUH a listing in Facebook’s 2014 list of effective progressive pages. As Assistant Director of the Healthcare Justice March, her expertise in social media, as well as her relentless pursuit of donations, connections, and innovative ideas has been crucial. Most importantly, her steadfast friendship and support keep Sue laughing!
Pastor Neal Jones – Minister of Main Line Unitarian Church outside Philadelphia. After receiving his Master of Divinity degree from Southeastern Theological Seminary, he completed a residency in Clinical Pastoral Education at the Wake Forest Medical Center and then earned a PhD in Psychology from Baylor University. Ordained, but never serving, as a Baptist minister, while at Baylor, he discovered the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Waco, Texas, and was soon hired as their part-time minister. He experienced a spiritual homecoming in the UU community which respected the inherent worth and dignity of every person, encouraged a free and responsible search for truth and meaning, worked for peace and justice, and recognized the interdependent web of all existence. Pastor Jones was the minister of the UU fellowship in Columbia, SC that hosted DUH in early 2015 and participated, along with Sue, on the panel discussion that took place after the screening of The Healthcare Movie.
Dr. Bill Honigman – ER physician in Orange County, CA, Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) organizer and co-chair of the Healthcare Issue Team, healthcare activist extraordinaire, and now, singer! Known throughout the single-payer world as “Dr. Bill,” his 31+ years as an ER doc have given him a unique perspective on the U.S. healthcare system and fueled his dedication to changing it. Dr. Bill frequently organizes and speaks at screenings of The Healthcare Movie and traveled with DUH from La Jolla to L.A. on the West Coast tour in 2014. When the Healthcare Justice March was first conceived of on that trip, it was Dr. Bill who urged us to plan it in conjunction with Medicare’s 50th anniversy. We’re proud to show another side of this healthcare hero as he sings Sue’s favorite healthcare song, Joshua Lowe’s Silence Is Consent.
Leslie Boyd – Mother of Mike and founder of Life O’ Mike, healthcare activist and speaker, founder of Western North Carolina Health Advocates, frequent Moral Monday protestor, and repeat jailbird for justice, including once after she held a press conference to cover the results of the People’s Grand Jury, indicting the governor and legislative leaders on charges of willful and reckless disregard for human life. She is now the author of a new book based on her experiences and Leslie’s story is sadly more and more typical of the kind of needless suffering the current healthcare system creates.
Dr. Louis Klein – Geriatric psychiatrist, member of Single Payer Action Network – Ohio and healthcare advocate. Dr. Klein earned his medical degree from Wayne State University and practices in the Cleveland area. Dr. Klein specializes in serving the senior population and therefore has seen what happens when Medicare (as it is) isn’t enough or when seniors aren’t eligible for Medicare and are seeing their pension benefits shrink just as they need them the most. He is also an amateur comedian, putting a humorous spin on the frustration medical providers experience in dealing with insurance companies!
Dr. Robert Zarr – President of Physicians for a National Health Program, Dr. Zarr is also a board-certified pediatrician at Unity Health Care in Washington, DC, where he cares for a low-income and immigrant population. Dr. Zarr is a past president of the DC Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and he holds adjunct professorships at Children’s National Medical Center and George Washington University. He also co-directs the Washington, DC chapter of PNHP. He is “physician champion” of DC Park Rx, a community health initiative to prescribe nature to patients and families and encourage time in one of 350 parks and green spaces in Washington, DC.
Pastor Thomas Dixon – Community organizer in Charleston, South Carolina. He founded The Coalition (People United to Take Back the Community. His work with the Progressive Network and other community groups has been a calming and rational force during the recent events in Charleston—first with the police shooting of an unarmed man, and then a short time later with the assassinations of nine worshippers in the historical Emmanuel AME Church, he helped encourage the amazing show of forgiveness and tolerance from the people who were affected. Rev. Dixon ministers to the soul of the community, helping young people find hope and learn alternatives to violence.
Dr. Jill Stein – Green Party presidential candidate, activist, medical doctor, and environmental health advocate. Dr. Stein studied psychology, sociology, and anthropology at Harvard University before earning her medical degree from Harvard Medical School in 1979. During her career as an Internal Medicine physician, she became concerned about the connection between people’s health and the health of the environment and her involvement in politics began with activism and proceeded to candidacy. A seasoned campaigner, she has run for several offices in Massachusetts and in 2012, she was the Green Party’s presidential candidate. In that race, Dr. Stein received more votes than any other female candidate for president in the history of the United States, despite being kept off the ballot and barred from debates. Always standing up for the 99%, she is expected to receive much more support in 2016 as voters express their anger and frustration with the status quo.
Michaeleen Crowell – Chief of Staff for Bernie Sanders, Ms Crowell was a congressional intern in 1994 when Democrats failed to pass health care reform. The internship deepened her interest in healthcare policy, which became her area of expertise in law school, private practice in Atlanta, and when she returned to Capitol Hill in 2003. From 2005-2013 she was legislative director for Rep. John Lewis (GA), and legislative director and counsel for the Rep. Denise Majette (GA).
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