CDF-Texas Recognized for Excellence in Children's Health Outreach and Enrollment by the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                      Contact:  CMS Press Office: (202) 690-6145
November 21, 2011                                                                                  CDF-Texas: Anat Kelman Shaw, (713) 664-4080  

Texas Organization Recognized for Excellence in Children’s Health Outreach
CMS Honors Efforts to Enroll Eligible Children in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that the Children's Defense Fund of Texas has been recognized along with nine other organizations and individuals for outstanding efforts to identify and enroll eligible children in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

"The efforts of the Children's Defense Fund of Texas and the other honorees have helped eligible children get the high quality coverage and care that Medicaid and CHIP provide," said CMS Administrator, Donald Berwick, M.D. "These honorees have not only helped to improve participation in health coverage, but also have enriched our understanding of the best ways to help consumers obtain and keep health coverage."

The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) Texas is a strong and effective advocate for children. Partnering with the Texas Association of School Administrators, CDF-Texas has modeled effective school-based outreach and enrollment strategies that have been replicated across the State and nationally. CDF-Texas also has shown leadership building partnerships with local businesses, like its work with Fiesta Mart, Inc., to help get eligible children enrolled in coverage.

The recipients of the ECHOE (Excellence in Children’s Health Outreach and Enrollment) honor are:

-          Dayanne Leal, Children's Health Policy and Outreach Manager, Health Care For All, Massachusetts
-          Ann Bacharach, Special Projects Director, Pennsylvania Health Law Program
-          Jodi Ray, Project Director, Florida Covering Kids and Families, University of South Florida
-          Gale Marshall, Two Feathers Media, North Carolina
-          Phillip Bergquist, Manager of Health Center Operations, CHIPRA Project Director, Michigan Primary Care Association
-          Ruth Kennedy, Medicaid Deputy Director/Bayou Health, Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals
-          Oklahoma Health Care Authority
-          Children's Defense Fund –Texas
-          Oglala Sioux Tribe, South Dakota
-          Cathy Kaufmann, Administrator, Oregon Healthy Kids

Under the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA), CMS has awarded $90 million in outreach grants since 2009.  These grants are aimed at ensuring further improvements in reaching children who are eligible but unenrolled. An additional $40 million in funding will be made available under the Affordable Care Act for improving outreach and enrollment efforts.  ECHOE honorees include past and current CHIPRA outreach and enrollment grantees, as well as groups working in partnership with grantees.  Their activities include using technology in innovative ways to enroll eligible children, enlisting schools in effective outreach, sponsoring a successful enrollment telethon and designing the systems needed to ensure that eligible children retain their health coverage for as long as they qualify.

“The efforts of State, Tribal and community partners, like our honorees, have helped to achieve significant progress toward reducing the number of children who are eligible but not enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP,” said Cindy Mann, deputy administrator and director of the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services. “Because of their work, participation rates have improved nationally and in every region of the country, and we are better prepared to meet future enrollment challenges.”

For information on each honoree, please visit:

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