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Pafford To Lead Health-Advocacy Group

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
Florida House of Representatives
The Florida Channel
State Rep. Mark Pafford

House Minority Leader Mark Pafford, D-West Palm Beach, was named Thursday as chief executive officer of Florida CHAIN, a health-care advocacy group that has sought to sway the Florida Legislature on issues such as Medicaid expansion.

Pafford, who faces term limits next year, will succeed interim CEO Lisa Grossman.

“This opportunity with CHAIN, that certainly caught my eye, not only because of their history, but it’s an opportunity to make an impact on all Floridians,” Pafford told Health News Florida. “I’ve always been interested in CHAIN, so it’s a good opportunity.  I hope to have fun with it.”

Pafford been in the Florida House of Representatives since 2008.  As of Nov. 1, he will become CEO of Florida CHAIN and will be leaving his post as CEO of the Marshall Foundation for the Everglades, which he began full-time after the legislative session in May 2014.

“As I move out of the legislative process, I want to be able to restart my career,” he said. "This will be my last session. I have no plans to go back to the legislature or to run for any elective office. You may be able to do more outside the process than inside the process.”

In a prepared statement announcing the hiring, Pafford called in “an honor to join the leading advocacy group for access to health care in a state where nearly a million people are still caught in the coverage gap.”

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.