KHC Member Spotlight: Gwen Cooper

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Gween Cooper

Gween Cooper, MPA, CFRE

Accessia Health

Title: President & CEO

Member of the KHC for: First year

We are a national nonprofit patient assistance organization providing financial assistance to people who can’t afford their healthcare. We’ve had a 20+ year contract with the Commonwealth to ensure children with special healthcare needs get insurance so they can access quality healthcare. In addition, we provide about $1M in financial assistance to Kentuckians living with chronic illnesses and distribute over $40M per year to patients around the nation.

What KHC committees have you participated?

Participating as a new board member & the strategy around Making Healthcare More Affordable.

What are you currently working on that you are most excited about? How do you think it will drive improvements to health and healthcare in the community?

Expanding our patient assistance model to employers. Our OIG opinion allows us to pay for healthcare for qualified individuals. Healthcare cost sharing is a known burden for employees, our Employer Health Assistance Funds will benefit all the players involved in the healthcare ecosystem with the most important focus – the patient.

What do you see as the biggest threat to our community’s health? How do you feel it needs to be addressed?
Health Literacy. We must invest in educating people about their bodies and what we put into them. Many chronic diseases are preventable! The lower the health literacy, the worse health outcomes, it starts with education for everyone in all zip codes, it has to be a priority.

Why do you and your organization belong to the KHC? What do you find most valuable as a member?
We have shared values and we represent the voice of the patient. Employers and stakeholders play a key role in providing and designing healthcare, our voice must be at the table in the decision-making process. We then serve as the catalyst for successful change implementation and better outcomes.

Why do you think a multi-stakeholder coalition like the KHC is needed in the community?
The more collaboration in a community the more we can uncover common needs and create solutions to address those needs that are inclusive rather than exclusive.

What is your guilty pleasure (TV show, sweet treat, etc.)?
Ice Cream!!! Raw oysters and steamed crabs. Give me all three and I’m a happy camper- especially if we are camping while eating them! ????

What are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about people succeeding. I get upset when people settle and don’t try to be the best they can be, for them or their environment.

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