This past weekend, we here at the Community Health Center formally increased our outreach in regards to the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as ObamaCare. With the Obama administration hitting an all time low in their most recent satisfaction polls, I brainstormed different ways to improve this and the overall morality of the ObamaCare program. I immediately thought about starting an ACA Outreach group at WesleyanUniversity, which main purpose would be to educate different populations about the program and further provide them with assistance in enrolling into medical coverage. It wasn’t easy, but I am very grateful to say that we currently have over 40 students apart of the ACA Outreach group at Wesleyan University. Members of this group are not just apart of other health activist groups but the make up include members of other political, health and social groups including Wesleyan Democrats, the Collegiate Health Service Corps, the MINDS Foundation, etc.
This past Saturday, November 23rd, around 20 of the Wesleyan students apart of the ACA Outreach Group gave up their morning – mid afternoon to go door to door around Middletown supplying the population with all the necessary resources one needs to become medically insured. The day began at 11AM, where the students congregated at 634 Main Street Middletown, and while eating lunch got the opportunity to ask any questions they had to a panel of CHC staff including Mark Masselli, CEO of CHC, Marie Yardis, Access to Care Manager, Mike Rohde, former Mayor of Meriden and Community Relations Director at CHC & Shannon Bali, Certified Application Counselor. Additionally, Mark Masselli gave a very powerful speech right before the students deployed and really got the optimistic energy moving around the room. This was the first of many outreach opportunities we will be conducting over the next year and saying it was a success, would be an understatement. In total, we distributed over 350 bags to specifically targeted populations in Middletown. “Although not everyone answered the door, those who did were very receptive to the information and that really catalyzed my efforts moving forward with outreach,” Marshal Lawler, Class of 2016, explains. Lawler has been a crucial part of the group, as without his help, our efforts would not have led to the success we had this past Saturday.
There is a lot of excitement surrounding this group as we have an endless list of projects we plan on executing in the next few months. The sky seems to be the limit and we plan on spreading these models and ideas of social justice to other students around the nation and ultimately to the man himself, Mr. President Barack Obama.