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Good Medicine Poetry at the Paramount Celebrates New Healthcare Choices


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For Immediate Release
Doctors For America – Oklahoma Chapter
Thursday, August 8, 2013
Contact:  Dorothy Alexander, 580-729-0242

What:    “Good Medicine Poetry” with Lauren Zuniga & Dorothy Alexander
When:   Sunday, September 22 at 3:30 p.m.
Where:  Paramount OKC Theater, 701 W. Sheridan, OKC
Who:Doctors For America – Oklahoma Chapter and the public!

OKLAHOMA CITY - Heard about the Affordable Care Act? Want to find out how it can help you?  A poetry reading may be just what the doctor ordered.

On Sunday, September 22, the “Good Medicine Poetry” event will be held at the Paramount OKC Theater, 701 W Sheridan, in Oklahoma City, at 3:30 p.m. 

Oklahoma’s own renowned performance poet and teaching artist Lauren Zuniga will be the featured guest as part of the Doctors for America “Coverage is Good Medicine Campaign.”

The event’s goal is to raise awareness of the historic opportunity the people of Oklahoma will soon have to get affordable, high quality health insurance.

Zuniga, a three time national poetry slam finalist, was a featured TEDx speaker in 2011 and is author of The Smell of Good Mud (Write Bloody Publishing, 2012). She served as Activist-in-Residence for the University of Oklahoma and is the voice of Oklahoma City Community College’s Now is Power campaign, featured on radio and television.

“As an uninsured single mother and working artist, finally having access to healthcare will change my life and allow me to continue doing the work of a poet/activist,” said Zuniga. “Relieving the constant fear of getting sick will change the lives of so many working Oklahoma families.”

The event is hosted by Doctors for America Oklahoma State Director, Katherine Scheirman, M.D. and Oklahoma poet Dorothy Alexander, Village Books Press co-owner with Devey Napier, of Cheyenne, Oklahoma.

A lawyer turned poet, Alexander is the author of four poetry collections and a number of non-fiction short works.  She received the 2013 Carlile Award for Distinguished Service to the Oklahoma Literary Community, awarded by the Oklahoma Center for the Book and Friends of the Libraries in Oklahoma.

“Poetry embodies the urge for connection that all human beings have,” Alexander said, “It is the language of the human spirit; it says ‘we care for one another.” I think it is appropriate to bring the good news of the ACA, or what is known as ‘Obamacare,' through poetry. Showing people a way to keep themselves healthy is the most significant way of showing that fellow human beings care for one another.”

Scheirman said, “We're going into our communities to race for coverage and raise the resources we need to reach the uninsured. Every $100 will help 20 individuals or families get covered.“

Dr. Scheirman spent more than 20 years in the U.S. Air Force, attaining the rank of Colonel and served as Chief of Medical Operations for U.S. Air Forces in Europe at Ramstein Air Base, Germany from 2004-2006. Since retiring, Scheirman has been an advocate of healthcare reform. She currently serves on the Council of Fellows of the American College of Physician Executives, and is a senior advisor to VoteVets.org

During the enrollment period, from October 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014, middle-income people under age 65, who are not eligible for coverage through their employer, Medicaid, or Medicare, can apply for tax credit subsidies available through what is known as the Marketplace.

“Nearly 78 percent of people who will be eligible for this benefit do not know it,” said Scheirman. “That is why it is so important to me, as a doctor, to spread the word about the new marketplace where buying health insurance will be a more pleasant experience than it is currently.”

“For most Americans now, one serious illness can mean bankruptcy, often even if they have insurance,” Scheirman added. “That all changes January 1, 2014, when coverage will start for people who sign up this year byDecember 15.”

This once-in-a-generation opportunity can transform the lives of so many, when 30,000,000 uninsured Americans will be able to sign up for private health insurance just by visiting the insurance Marketplace at www.HealthCare.gov.

Doctors for America is a national movement of 16,000 physicians and medical students working to improve the health of the nation and to ensure that everyone has access to affordable, high quality health care.

“I hope you will join me at the Paramount for the Good Medicine Poetry event,” said Scheirman. “Together we can make a difference in the lives of working American families – their health, their financial security, and their peace of mind - knowing that they have good insurance.”

Paramount refreshments and beverages, including wine, will be available for purchase. This event is open to the public.

Donations for Doctors for America will be accepted at the door, or donations can be made online at www.races.drsforamerica.org/KatherineS.  For more information visit www.drsforamerica.org

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