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Karen Showalter's picture
DYK MomsRising is on the ground in Pennsylvania? It's no exaggeration to say there is much to do. But parents know better than anyone: a little patience and a lot of perseverance can go a long, long way. 
Check out this inspiring profile of Ray, one of our fabulous Pennsylvania State Moms Force volunteers! Ray is living proof of the incredible power each of us has to build more family-friendly communities. (And scroll down to sign up for regular updates on our work in Pennsylvania, too!) 
Tell us a little bit about yourself, Ray! 
I am a retired public health nutritionist. In my early career, I worked as a registered dietitian in nursing homes and hospitals. I later became a public health nutritionist covering 16 counties of South Central Pennsylvania. I also worked as a public health nutritionist for Pennsylvania WIC Program.  After I retired from PA WIC, I went to work as the state WIC Director of District of Columbia.  I got involved in the advocacy work of MomsRising when I was living in District of Columbia.  Now I live in Hershey, PA.  I enjoy cooking and gardening.  
If you had a magic wand, what are there things you'd do to build a more family-friendly Pennsylvania?
If I had a magic wand, I’d change the health care in PA into a single payer’s health care system: No more copay or deductible, no more confusion regarding which insurance is the primary payer.  No more cap on health services.  No more “donut holes”.  I believe health care is a right, not a privilege.  I would love to see PA health care system pay more for primary prevention, i.e., healthy food, clean air, clean water, safe shelter, good public schools, safe streets, bike paths, and playgrounds.
What's your favorite thing you've done with MomsRising so far?
I went to the Capitol Hill with MomsRising activists to talk to the champions of CHIP Program, when the Republicans became senate majority.  I worked for WIC nearly thirty years, and I have a special spot in my heart for children.  The CHIP Program started in Pennsylvania as a pilot program when the steel workers lost their jobs due to the shutdown of steel mills in Pittsburgh area.  The Steel worker’s union lobbied the Congress to provide health insurance coverage for the children of the steel workers.  At a maternal and child health meeting in DC, I met the “architect” of CHIP, Dr. Woodie Kessel. He spoke to me about his work of creating CHIP for the children who were "falling in the gap” (i.e., their parents made too much for them to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to afford the private health insurance). Therefore, I was excited to respond to the call of MomRising to protect CHIP from funding cut.  I was impressed by the skills and knowledge of MomRising activists; and I was inspired by their enthusiasm.  I was glad to learn that there are opportunities in PA for me to continue my involvement with MomRising, and be a part of this family centered advocacy.
Thank you for all you do Ray! 

Join the Pennsylvania State Moms ForceWe're building a more family-friendly Pennsylvania, and need YOU.

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