A Middletown woman was honored at the White House today for her work in helping to enroll people in health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act.
Khadija Gurnah, program manager for the American Muslim Health Professionals' ACA outreach and enrollment efforts, helped the group launch the first national grassroots initiative of its kind in the Muslim American community, according to the White House.
With a limited budget, AMHP mobilized 81 partners and ultimately helped to enroll thousands of people in health plans.
Gurnah said this started out as a small program, but the organization knew that they wanted to make a difference and let people know what the affordable care act was, so they embarked on a mission and enlished come help.
"We found in our communities that they needed cultural ambassadors, so we hired seven interns from across the country and asked them to connect with their communities as much as they can," she said. "What happened is that we had some wonderful connections across the nation and these seven young people were so full of energy and passion over this issue that it turned into a much bigger national campaign."
Gurnah earned her master's degree in health management at Yale School of Public Health. She has worked in the community health field, focusing on how to address the inequities in health care delivery.
"Truly, I'm only here because of every single individual who went out every day and brought this message to the community, did not take no for an answer and supported me in taking this message nationally to the Muslim community," Gurnah said.
She is one of 13 "Champions of Change" scheduled to be honored today.