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Getting to Know Us: Lu Marie Polivka-West

Tell us about your role at your organization? Your role at FVH?

As a board member of FVH, I am a supporter by participating on most board member conference calls and contributing to the discussion and planning for organizational efforts through staff and other board members.As a Research Associate Volunteer at the FSU Claude Pepper Center where we are dedicated to the health care, long term care and socioeconomic equities for seniors and persons with disabilities as well as those without a voice in the halls of the legislature, I share research articles and information on federal/state/local rules and regulations as well as policies and funding strategies that are pertinent for FVH.

How did you get into work with Florida Voices for Health?

I was a member of the Florida CHAIN Board of Directors, serving as the Board president for 7 years, three years prior to its dissolution by other board members and staff. My connection with FVH is a natural evolution from the work at Florida CHAIN with dedicated CHAIN staff.

How do you feel your own personal values align with the mission, vision, and values of FVH?

I am committed to universal health care or “Medicare for All” and FVH is an important Florida advocacy organization that is actively pursuing health care access expansion.

In your opinion, what do you think is the biggest challenge in healthcare today?

The biggest challenge is the corporate framework of HMOs, for profit health care providers and pharmaceutical companies that take profits off the top and maintain their tight controls through lobbying in DC and in the states. The for profit corporations blocked the public option in the original Affordable Care Act and they continue to keep the pressure on in fighting universal health care.

Can you name a person who has had a tremendous impact on you?

Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

What do you enjoy in your favorite breakfast that you make at home?


What is one piece of advice for someone wanting to pursue a career in Public Health / non-profit sector?

Maintain a critical thinking approach to learning by questioning models of policy making, budgeting and care delivery systems’ designs and implementation in terms of their capacity to meet the needs of vulnerable people in as efficient a manner as possible.

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