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ACS CAN holds virtual Medicaid Covers Us events in Oklahoma and Tennessee

​Marks launch of public education project in both states

This month, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) held virtual events publicly launching the Medicaid Covers US project in two additional/new focus states: Oklahoma and Tennessee. 

The events focused on the role of Medicaid in helping Oklahomans and Tennesseans meet their health care needs and how having access to insurance coverage plays a critical role in achieving health equity and reducing disparities.  

Funded in part by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Medicaid Covers US aims to create an open dialogue about the critical role Medicaid plays in helping Americans stay healthy, go to work, and care for their families.  

Speakers at both events included public health experts, health economists, cancer control leaders, providers, and cancer patients.

More than 110 people joined the Oklahoma virtual launch event on June 4. Panelists included:

  • Sara Barry, MEd, LBP, CEO of Oklahoma Primary Care Association
  • David Blatt, Kaiser Family Foundation Endowed Professor of Practice, University of Oklahoma-Tulsa
  • Lydia Nightingale, MD, Variety Care Women’s Health Medical Director
  • Citseko Staples Miller, director, State and Local Campaigns, ACS CAN

The June 10 Tennessee virtual launch event was attended by 80 people. Panelists included: 

  • John Bell, MD, director, University of Tennessee Medical Center Cancer Institute
  • Katina Beard, CEO, Matthew Walker Community Health Center
  • Melinda Buntin, PhD, Vanderbilt University 
  • Maria Moore, executive hospice care consultant, Avalon and Kindred Hospice 
  • Citseko Staples Miller, director, State and Local Campaigns, ACS CAN

At both events, new videos – six in each state -- were unveiled of storytellers describing how the Medicaid program has impacted their lives, families, and communities. Several of the videos feature health care providers who underscore the need for Medicaid expansion, especially for those who have lost their employer-sponsored health insurance over the past few months and are now uninsured in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. These include Shana Solis, a nurse practitioner in Oklahoma City, OK. 

The short patient and provider videos can be found be viewed at and at

To learn more about the Medicaid Covers US project, visit

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