These Organizations have awarded a $1,000 grant from the Vernon K. Krieble Foundation to their own Unsung Hero Awards
Foundation for Government Accountability (FGS)
FGA External Relations Director Dan Remmenga writes to VKK Executive Director Shari Williams about their 2017 FGA Unsung Hero Award to Jake and Christine Chalkey:
Thank you for the generous $1,000 grant from the Vernon K. Krieble Foundation in 2017. We recognized our first Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) Unsung Hero at the 2017 FGA Solutions Summit last October. I am happy to provide a report on what has happened since that event.
The FGA Unsung Hero Award was presented to Jake Chalkey and his mother Christine. Jake was born with developmental disabilities and was not expected to live past early childhood. With the help of his dedicated family, Jake has beaten the odds. But he almost lost his fight in 2012.
When Christine tried to refill Jake’s medicine, she was told that it was no longer covered by the state—even though he was covered by Medicaid. She faced every parent’s nightmare: unable to obtain the life-saving medication her child needed with no answers to her countless questions.
The Chalkeys soon learned that while Illinois was making cuts to the truly needy like Jake, the state was paying for able-bodied adults to receive benefits through ObamaCare. Thankfully, the Chalkeys were able to get Jake the care he needed through Christine’s relentless advocacy and private insurance. That experience was the beginning of a multi-year effort for Jake and Christine. Since 2012, they have worked tirelessly to educate the public and policymakers about the negative consequences of ObamaCare expansion, becoming a voice for those who cannot fight for themselves.
The Chalkeys were overcome with emotion when they received the $1,000 prize. They also received a standing ovation from a roomful of lawmakers, who then heard them speak about the importance of getting able-bodied adults off Medicaid to preserve resources for the truly needy. It was a very moving portion of our annual conference. More importantly, it spurred leaders into acting.
Thanks to the Chalkeys and the generosity of the Vernon K. Krieble Foundation, dozens of lawmakers agreed to help advance our model reforms on the spot. In the months since our conference, leaders who were inspired at that event have worked to advance reforms such as Medicaid work requirements for able-bodied adults. We couldn’t be more pleased. We hope you are pleased with the results as well.
External Relations Manager