Jill Hanken of the Virginia Poverty Law Center (VPLC) led the Healthcare for All Virginians Coalition (HAV) for many years. We appreciate her brilliant work to convince members of the General Assembly to choose justice on health care and many other issues.
On January 1st, 2019, more than 400,000 Virginians – including approximately 37,000 in the Richmond area – gained access to free or low-cost health coverage through an expansion of the Virginia Medicaid program.
A key leader in the effort to make this historic coverage expansion possible is Jill Hanken and the Richmond History Makers agrees. The Richmond History Makers & Community Update recognizes trailblazers by celebrating their lasting contributions to the Greater Richmond region. Jill will be recognized for “Championing Social Justice” at their awards ceremony March 12. Additional details about the event are here.
For more than 30 years, Jill has been a tireless advocate for the vulnerable and marginalized as an attorney with the Virginia Poverty Law Center. She is now recognized as a leader, not just in Virginia, but on the national level for her expertise on health programs for low-income families and individuals.
Following the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, Jill led an 8-year effort to educate members of the Virginia General Assembly and three successive Governors about the importance of fully implementing the ACA in Virginia and increasing access to affordable health insurance to more low-income Virginians.
In 2014, Jill led the creation of a broad coalition of more than 110 organizations from across Virginia to help support the fight for expansion. Under her steadfast leadership, this coalition, the Healthcare for All Virginians (HAV) coalition, was critical to the successful campaign to expand the Medicaid program. She kept up a steady drumbeat about the urgency of expansion – even when efforts to expand in the state seemed futile. The historic expansion of health coverage was built on the foundation laid by Jill and the HAV coalition over many years.
Jill has been a tireless advocate throughout her career with the Virginia Poverty Law Center, and every day, we are inspired by her dedication and perseverance in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. Jill proves the fight is worthwhile, and we are thrilled that the Richmond community recognizes her incredible accomplishments and character.