Maurine “Mo” Stuart, Snowshoe WV resident, Navy veteran and mom of two, was recognized today by the National Patient Advocate Foundation (NPAF) with the Donna Guinn Outstanding Volunteer Award.
Volunteers from across the United States in NPAF’s network selected Mo for this award because of her exceptional work helping people access affordable and equitable care. Mo dedicated her time and talent to campaigns coordinated by NPAF, extending her influence by taking initiative in her community. As the first recipient of the award, Mo will have the opportunity in 2022 to design and direct her own community outreach project in Snowshoe and surrounding areas with support from NPAF.
In addition to national advocacy focusing on equitable access, affordability and epilepsy, Mo’s work within her own community is particularly important to her. “Because I live in a rural community, I do what I can to help my fellow neighbors better understand health care, whether it’s connecting with them on the importance of cancer screenings or hosting community care planning workshops to help them talk about what is important to them.”
“Mo has a truly empathetic spirit and a drive to constantly do more, said Alan Balch, CEO of NPAF. “She has a unique ability to connect with people, understand their needs and provide them with direct assistance in a way that not only reflects our mission but makes her a model for patient advocacy today.”
Mo has been a NPAF volunteer since 2013 and is also a part of NPAF’s volunteer Advisory Group. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Epilepsy Foundation of West Virginia, was a member of the National Quality Forum’s Electronic Health Records Care Coordination Committee and was a featured speaker in the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) quality care for people with serious illness roundtable recent public workshop “Advance Care Planning: Challenges and Opportunities.”
"I want a level playing field for everyone...I think we should all have equal access to whatever we need."
Notably, Mo is a member of the Breast Cancer Cohort Team on the Patient-Centered Outcome Research Institute-funded study, “Engaging Virtually in the Age of COVID-19: Sharing Lessons and Creating Pathways for Transdisciplinary Research on Women’s Health Issues in Cystic Fibrosis and Breast Cancer.” In this role she assists in the planning and convening of virtual meetings for patients and survivors of breast cancer. During these meetings, participants develop and rank research questions that will be provided to researchers to turn into future studies.
“I want a level playing field for everyone. Right now it’s not – and of course that’s a moonshot, but that’s what I do, right? Whether it’s big or small, I think we should all have equal access to whatever we need,” said Mo in her acceptance speech.
The award honors the legacy of NPAF’s former grassroots advocacy director, the late Donna Guinn, an army veteran and passionate patient advocate who made her mark connecting people across the country and mobilizing their collective action on critical health care causes.
About NPAF: National Patient Advocate Foundation is a national non-profit organization dedicated to amplifying the voices of patients and advocating for better access to affordable, equitable, quality care. As the advocacy affiliate of the Patient Advocate Foundation, NPAF provides educational resources to help patients advocate for themselves and make informed, personalized health care decisions.