In appreciation of Sara Watson on Labor Day 2016
Seven or eight years ago, Walter Zelman approached me at the annual ITUP conference and said he had a student in his health policy class at Cal State LA who’d be a perfect fit at ITUP. He vastly underestimated how much Sara Watson would help us.
One of her first writing projects was a report on uninsured farm workers and efforts to develop coverage for them. Sara went above and beyond your conventional report – going into the fields to photograph working conditions. Her work helped provide the foundations for ITUP’s work on the remaining uninsured. Her next report looked at behavioral health care and coverage. Her writing and analysis helped set the agenda for ITUP’s ongoing work on behavioral health for Medi-Cal patients. To this day she organizes the monthly LA behavioral health workgroup.
Sara soon excelled in organizing our eleven annual regional workgroups and six issue workgroups. She developed and nurtured long lasting relationships with health policy advocates and leaders throughout the state.
Sara organized ITUP’s training sessions leading up to the first and second year’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act where we trained over a thousand advocates and prospective health educators on the new opportunities for coverage for our state’s uninsured.
Sara and Daphne were the organizational backbone of ITUP’s annual conference – the ones you could count on to see everything was done right and on time.
Sara for many years has managed the ITUP and LAHA web sites, the Facebook and Twitter accounts and the monthly newsletter. She has been ITUP’s social media wizard.
Her amazing work ethic, unquenchable spirit and community values come from her grandparents who raised her with strong Midwestern values and ethics.
Sara you have been an amazing pleasure to work with; you have been a loyal and true colleague to me and so many. I want to honor you and your work on Labor Day 2016.
Founder of ITUP
September 6, 2016