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April 25, 2018



  • First-generation college graduate and USC graduate student Jessica Moran is first to win prestigious fellowship in health policy

  • She will be hosted for a year by Anthony Wright and Health Access California, the statewide consumer advocacy coalition

  • Fellowship established to honor legacy of Peter Harbage, a leader in health reform and health policy efforts in California and nationally, after his untimely death.

The Peter Harbage Fellowship program selected its first emerging leader to spend a year gaining invaluable experience working in health care policy in California. The fellowship program aims to jumpstart the career of one talented, passionate individual by providing opportunities to acquire knowledge, skills and networks that might otherwise take years to develop.

The fellowship is the vision of Peter Harbage, who was a leader and innovator in our country and California’s health policy field for decades until his untimely death in 2015. Peter had a gift for bringing together diverse stakeholders to solve problems and develop innovative policy. Peter was generous with his time to mentor young people while he was at the center of developing policy in Washington D.C. and California. He was similarly generous when planning his legacy. Peter set aside funding in his will for an annual fellowship program to provide an opportunity for young people to learn from strategic, influential leaders in California’s health policy field.

Inaugural fellow, Jessica Moran, will graduate this spring with a master’s degree in public health from the University of Southern California. Moran grew up in Downey, CA, attended Warren High School and received a bachelor’s degree in public health from California State University, Los Angeles. She is the first in her family to earn a four-year college degree. She was selected among a competitive group of applicants from seven different California graduate programs.

Moran’s interest in public health and equity began early. Jessica is passionate about reducing disparities in health outcomes, promoting programs that ameliorate the impacts of childhood exposure to trauma, and improving the quality of care for vulnerable populations. She has held internship positions at the Arthritis Foundation, the L.A. County Department of Public Health and The Children's Partnership. 

"I feel extremely fortunate to have been selected as the inaugural fellow for the Peter Harbage Fellowship and am excited to join the Health Access team,” Moran said. “I'm eager to further develop my skills on how to be an effective advocate to advance work in ensuring that all Californians, but especially the most vulnerable populations, have access to health care.”

Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, will serve as the first fellowship mentor. Health Access is the statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition.

“Peter was a friend, to me, our organization, and to the goal of quality, affordable health care for all Californians,” Wright said. “Peter played a key part in the progress that we have made with health reform nationally and in California over the past decade. We hope we can continue Peter’s legacy by providing guidance for the first Harbage fellow so she can similarly make her own impact toward an improved health system for all Californians.”

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