At PA Health Access Network Conference, Jen Gable (Fels ’16) Explores Post-ACA Future

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September 25, 2015

When Pennsylvania’s leading health care coverage coalition met in Harrisburg last week to explore the post-ACA landscape, they could count one passionate and dedicated Felsian among their ranks.

Jen Gable (Fels ’16) attended the Pennsylvania Health Access Network’s (PHAN) annual conference and quickly found herself at ‘ground zero’ for public health thought-leadership. 

“In addition to gaining a great deal of practical knowledge, the conference was an excellent way to make connections with a variety of players in my field,” Gable said. 

An M.P.A. candidate who is also pursuing a dual degree in Bioethics through the Perelman School of Medicine, Gable was able to attend the conference through funding from Fels. In Harrisburg, she wanted to customize her conference sessions to fit her work interning with the PolicyLab at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. 

There were plenty of experts on hand to help that happen.

Since 2007, PHAN has gathered advocates from across the commonwealth to assess and address some of the toughest public health challenges facing Pennsylvanians. The coalition includes representatives from more than 60 different organizations from the faith, legal, public health, immigrant and disability rights communities.

“I had the great opportunity to interact with representatives from nonprofit, advocacy and policy organizations, health care networks, ACA enrollment navigators, the PA Department of Health, and the PA Department of Human Services, to name a few,” said Gable. 

“I even reconnected with a former colleague from the world of workforce development policy, which was a great reminder of the intersection between my new health policy focus and many other important policy arenas,” she added.

This year, PHAN focused on one of the biggest policy issues in health care: the landscape after passage of the ACA and the recent expansion of Medicaid in the commonwealth which has enabled 447,000 Pennsylvanians to access insurance coverage. Gable further explored specific topics under this broader theme including strategic messaging about the ACA, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), closing the gap in access to care for those who remain uninsured, and ending disparities in care for special populations.

“The conference was a terrific experience,” said Gable. “I’m so glad I was able to go and I would definitely recommend it for anyone interested in health policy.”

Fels Institute of Government

The Fels Institute of Government
3814 Walnut St. 
Philadelphia, PA 19104

(215) 898-7326

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