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Ten Extraordinary Americans Recognized for Local Innovation in Improving Health and Health Care
Date:10/29/2008

rtment of Mental Health cares for residents with mental health issues.

6) DONENE FEIST, State Director, Family Voices of North Dakota, Edgeley, North Dakota

Donene Feist's commitment to children with special health care needs goes beyond the Family Voices of North Dakota and into numerous communities across the state. She consistently collaborates with families and professional partners to improve the health and health care of children with special health care needs. She has found services for thousands of children with a wide range of complex health needs in a state with few urban centers. She assists families in navigating public and private health systems and insurance plans, and helps them find accurate information and resources for their children.

7) ZAID GAYLE, Executive Director, Peace4Kids, Compton, California

When Zaid Gayle was a teenager, he founded a youth group that promoted learning and self-expression. That experience launched Gayle into a lifetime of service. In 1998, he created Peace4Kids, a "community-as-family" safe haven for foster children in the violent Watts area of South Los Angeles. At Peace4Kids adult volunteers become a consistent presence in the children's lives. During the past four years, the program has grown from having no budget to having $1 million annually with 10 full-time staff members and nearly 100 adult volunteers. Gayle has also been a key influence in foster care reform in California.

8) JUDI HILMAN, Executive Director, Utah Health Policy Project, Salt Lake City, Utah

As a passionate and gifted community organizer, Judi Hilman has engaged a wide range of Utah residents in a variety of advocacy campaigns. From low-income and disabled persons, to small business owners, Hilman empowers those around her to use their voices to advocate for justice. Hilman co-founded the Utah Health Policy Project (UHPP) in 2006 to help obtain quality, affordable, comprehensive health care coverage for all
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SOURCE Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
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