Nashville, TN – On Tuesday, October 9th, the Tennessee Justice Center (TJC) was awarded Baptist Healing Trust’s Access to Care Award at the 2012 Salute to Excellence Awards. The Access to Care Award recognizes organizations that demonstrate boldness in expanding access to care, especially for the vulnerable and underserved in Middle Tennessee. As part of the award, Baptist Healing Trust will make a $10,000 donation to TJC.
TJC is a non-profit, public interest law and advocacy firm focusing on access to health care. TJC gives priority to policy issues and civil cases in which the most basic necessities of life are at stake and where advocacy can benefit needy families statewide. Every day, TJC helps families throughout Tennessee access the health care they need.
In a brief acceptance speech, Michele Johnson, Managing Attorney of the Tennessee Justice Center, expressed gratitude for the generosity of Baptist Healing Trust, the efforts of TJC staff and volunteers, and the commitment of TJC’s Board of Directors. She concluded by offering a heartfelt thank you to TJC’s clients: “They remind us each and every day about the importance of courage, dignity, and love. They inspire us to keep working for a healthcare system that is just, humane, and worthy of the great state of Tennessee.”
The impact of TJC’s work and the importance of the funding provided by this award can be seen in the story of one family and child helped by TJC:
Fifteen-year-old Hannah relies on insurance from TennCare. Her single father owns a small business, and he cannot afford to pay costly insurance premiums for himself and his daughter on the small group market. Hannah was grandfathered into an eligibility category known as TennCare Standard, which is only open to children who have become ineligible for another Medicaid category. Hannah’s TennCare status has to be re-verified every year. This year, her father did not get the re-verification papers because his mailbox and all of its contents were stolen. Since he did not return the papers in time, Hannah lost her coverage. Hannah’s father filed an appeal, but the appeal was closed after the state contended he had not provided evidence of a DHS mistake. TJC wrote the General Counsel for the Department of Human Services and explained that Hannah’s father should be granted a good cause extension because of the stolen mail. DHS agreed to reinstate Hannah’s coverage. Thanks to TJC, Hannah is able to access the medical care she needs to be healthy, and her father does not have to worry about huge bills or bankruptcy if she has an unforeseen accident or illness.
TJC was established in 1996 and is located at 301 Charlotte Avenue, Nashville, TN.
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