Rev. Linda Hanna Walling is serving as the founding Executive Director of Faithful Reform in Health Care. In this work she hopes to elevate the moral and prophetic voice of the faith community in support of comprehensive health care reform and to promote the need for consistent moral and values-based messages toward that end. She understands that the ultimate goal of education and networking within faith communities around this issue is to build a base of informed advocates who embrace this work as an authentic missional opportunity and respond by exerting pressure on elected officials to enact change.
Rev. Walling came to this position after serving for seven years as the Faith Project Director of the Universal Health Care Action Network (UHCAN). In that position she built a network of national, state and local faith leaders committed to working for health care justice in their public witness. Respected among diverse religious health care reform advocates, Rev. Walling has been the point of continuity in the midst of the staff turnover and cut-backs that have plagued faith-based social justice ministries in recent years.
Rev. Walling is co-author and editor of Seeking Justice in Health Care: A Guide for Advocates in Faith Communities. This 120-page resource was developed to help laypersons better understand the crisis in U.S. health care through the lens of justice and the measure of moral values. Leading workshops based on this Guide throughout the country, Rev. Walling has connected with “people in the pews” and explored the difficulties they face in addressing health care reform within their congregations. Fundamental to this work is her understanding that cultural transformation that “bends toward justice” (ML King, Jr.) begins in the hearts and minds of individual members of congregations.
Prior to her work in health care justice ministry, Rev. Walling served for thirty years in congregational ministry, leadership, and progressive advocacy work in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). She has served on her denomination’s national governing Board and its Executive Committee; chaired the church’s Division of Higher Education, and presided as Moderator of the denomination’s largest region.
Lisa Baskin is the Policy Coordinator for the Universal Health Care Action Network of Ohio (UHCAN Ohio). She recently completed her Masters of Nonprofit Organizations at CWRU and has worked in various Cleveland area non-profits, including the National Conference for Community and Justice, Dress for Success and Jewish Family Services. She also has worked with area governmental human services agencies.
Gary Benjamin is a staff attorney with Michigan Legal Services where he focuses on class actions in the area of health litigation, public policy advocacy for health care law, and mass transit advocacy. In private practice, he specializes in disability and discrimination claims. Gary also currently serves as a consultant for UHCAN Ohio's free care project. He is a leader in working on state-based health care reform through MichiUHCAN.
Ronald Hongosh is Senior Vice President and Business Banking Division Manager at First Merit Bank in Cleveland, having worked previously at National City Bank and other Cleveland area financial institutions. His professional strengths include sales management, strategic planning, innovations for improving efficiency, marketing and more. He has served on several other Cleveland area non-profit boards where his strengths in strategic planning have been noted.
Deborah Osgood is the Director of Development and Marketing for the Achievement Centers for Children in the Cleveland area. She has over 20 years experience and proven success in non-profit management, fundraising, effective staff supervision and program development. Prior to her current position, she directed fundraising and public relations activities for Vocational Guidance Services in Cleveland, directed the Heights Parent Center, and worked in early childhood education.