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Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper Honored for Commitment to Changing the World for People Living with Multiple Sclerosis

March 1, 2018

The National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society has named Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper as its 2017 Governor of the Year.

Gov. Hickenlooper has been a driving force for the improvement of healthcare since his election in 2011. In 2013, Gov. Hickenlooper set out to make Colorado the healthiest state in the nation. His plan, The State of Health, set specific targets to measure the state’s progress along four major focus areas: expanding coverage, access and capacity; enhancing value and strengthening sustainability; improving quality and system integration; and promoting prevention and wellness. The state has achieved or exceeded 11 of the 15 goals as of 2017. 

During his tenure, Gov. Hickenlooper has expanded Medicaid, which reduced Colorado’s uninsured population from 15.3 to 6.5 percent, well below the national average and a historic low for the state of Colorado. In 2017, Gov. Hickenlooper and Gov. John Kasich co-led a bipartisan coalition of Governors that developed and released a set of recommendations for Congress that would stabilize health insurance markets and control rising premiums. Gov. Hickenlooper testified before Congress in support of these recommendations and Senators Alexander and Murray’s bipartisan market stabilization package in September of 2017.

Gov. Hickenlooper has also supported and signed into law multiple bills that expand employment opportunities for Coloradans living with disabilities.

“Governor Hickenlooper’s dogged commitment to the health and wellbeing of his constituents is praiseworthy,” National MS Society President and CEO Cyndi Zagieboylo said. “His tireless work, in Colorado and beyond, serves as an invaluable asset in our work to end MS forever.”

 “We are focused on making Colorado the healthiest state in the country," said Governor John Hickenlooper. "That means expanding access to health care coverage, controlling costs, and simplifying the process for those with health challenges to get care. We are honored to be recognized by the MS Society, and look forward to continue working together to make Colorado an even better place for anyone to work, live and raise a family.”

The National MS Society presented Gov. Hickenlooper with the Governor of the Year award during its 27th annual Public Policy Conference, held March 5-7, where more than 300 MS activists from across the country joined together in Washington, D.C. to educate elected officials about the needs of people living with MS. Nominations for the honor are open to the public. Awardees are chosen by the National MS Society Board of Directors.

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding and moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide.

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