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Opinion

Much-deserved honors for a fighter for kids

Jodi Ray, who has done as much as anyone to help uninsured children in Florida get coverage, has received national honors for her efforts.

Donald Berwick, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, awarded her the honor along with nine others across the country.

Ray, project director of Florida Covering Kids and Families at the University of South Florida, led a massive effort to recruit and train volunteers in 16 community coalitions covering 30 Florida counties that are focusing on getting uninsured children enrolled in Medicaid or the Florida KidCare program.

Ray used a federal grant to help build the coalition, working with schools, businesses, hospitals, city governments and veterans' groups. She helped obtain and renew coverage for more than 11,000 eligible Florida children, CMS said in its announcement.

With one-quarter of its children below the poverty level, Florida is badly in need of more Jodi Rays. We salute her work!

--Health News Florida is an independent online publication dedicated to journalism in the public interest. Carol Gentry, Editor, can be reached at 727-410-3266 or by e-mail.