Emily Spitzer Retiring as NHeLP Executive Director

WASHINGTONThe NHeLP Board of Directors announced today that Emily Spitzer has decided to retire in March 2014 and will step down as Executive Director of the National Health Law Program (NHeLP).

Emily came to NHeLP in 2008 after a career with public interest organizations, including the DC Bar Foundation, where she was executive director and worked to ensure access to legal services in the District of Columbia. During her tenure at NHeLP, Emily more than doubled NHeLP's operating budget and staff. NHeLP filed dozens of cases since 2008, including seven Supreme Court briefs, became a leader on the public policy front and deepened its ties with local and national coalition partners. She leaves the organization stronger than it has ever been, with offices in Washington, DC, Los Angeles and North Carolina.

"Emily helped lead NHeLP to stand where it is today: a force in the courtroom and an equally powerful force in DC and beyond," said Marc Fleischaker, Chairman of the NHeLP Board of Directors. "She will be missed tremendously when she steps down next year."

Fleischaker also announced that Emily has been awarded the first-ever "Health Advocate of the Year" award, created by the organization to honor an individual or organization that has shown unsurpassed commitment and dedication to improving health access and quality for low income people or underserved populations.

"Emily's career has been dedicated to public service," said Fleischaker. "During her time at NHeLP, Emily's outstanding efforts have deepened NHeLP's work and made it more accessible. From blogging the latest changes in health policy and breaking down for lay audiences what it means, to keeping attorneys on the ground informed with up-to-date legal developments and positioning NHeLP as a trusted source of information and analysis. She embodies the award in its truest sensea person who has shown both unsurpassed and unheralded commitment to improving health access for all."

"I am grateful for the opportunity to have overseen the transformation of NHeLP," said Emily Spitzer. "NHeLP's staff are first-class, dedicated public servants who come to work every day to make health care more accessible for millions of low-income and vulnerable people. And they do it with humor, grace and passion. It has been an honor to work with everyone at NHeLP."

"We are sorry to lose Emily, but happy that she will be able to spend more time studying photography, learning Italian, traveling and biking with her husband, Eric," stated Fleischaker. The NHeLP Board of Directors has selected Tim McFeeley with the Isaacson, Miller firm to lead the search for a new executive director. Emily will remain at NHeLP until March 28, 2014 to ensure a smooth transition for the organization.

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