Advocacy Specialist Marcus Johnson

Health Home Advocacy Specialist Marcus Johnson Presents at SUNY Upstate Medical University’s Health Justice Conference

In his presentation — “Shared Advocacy: The Care is Not Complex, The System is” — Mr. Johnson discussed the complexity of the U.S. healthcare system, the challenges and biases people with disabilities encounter with doctors and care providers, and why collaborative, disability-competent advocacy can make a difference.

January 17, 2023

For immediate release

NEW YORK, January 17, 2023 — Independence Care System (ICS) Health Home Advocacy Specialist Marcus Johnson presented at SUNY Upstate Medical University’s annual Health Justice Conference.

The student-run conference focuses on ways in which students and healthcare professionals can serve as social advocates to work toward reducing health disparities and challenges to accessible, adequate healthcare. The goal, ultimately, is to work toward ensuring for better health outcomes for disadvantaged populations and overall health equity.

Mr. Johnson’s presentation — “Shared Advocacy: The Care is Not Complex, The System is” — focused on health disparities among people with disabilities, the complexity of the U.S. healthcare system and the challenges and biases people with disabilities encounter with doctors and healthcare providers when seeking quality care and services so they can live healthy, independent lives.

Mr. Johnson — a former dance student at the Juilliard School in New York who was injured in a car accident that left him with a spinal cord injury at the age of 20 — also discussed his experience as a man with a disability, and his years of advocacy with The Civics League for Disability Rights (CLDR), an independent, volunteer-led group of New Yorkers with disabilities. The league educates the community on issues that impact their lives, assists individuals in becoming effective advocates and works to secure important services and supports for people with disabilities.

“People with disabilities are here to stay—and we need the healthcare world to have a greater knowledge of our community,” Mr. Johnson said. “Healthcare needs to be person centered, accessible and disability competent. It needs to be equitable. Through advocacy and our amplified voices, we can effect change in policy and law that support people with disabilities to not just live, but thrive, in the community.”

About Independence Care System (ICS)

ICS was founded in 2000 as a pioneering, innovative community of professionals dedicated to serving people who, prior to ICS, were often forced to spend their lives in institutions.

Focused on its three pillars of mobility, health and independence, ICS is the first and only “Health Home” program in New York State with disability-expert staff and programs designed to promote the health and independence of people with spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, and other disabilities and chronic health conditions that limit their mobility. ICS is centered on securing specialized care for members through the education and creation of partnerships with healthcare providers, offering educational and recreational programming that enriches members’ lives, and as a premier provider of specialized mobility assessments for wheelchair users conducted by expert occupational and physical therapists at its comprehensive On a Roll wheelchair program.

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Contact: Chris Engelhardt

chris.engelhardt@icsny.org

Tel: 646.491.3940 

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