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Summary of Focus Group Sessions at the 2008 Annual Grantee Meeting: from Evaluation of Consumer Voices for Coverage: Strengthening State Advocacy Networks to Expand Health Coverage

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Four focus group discussions were held with Consumer Voices for Coverage (CVC) grantees and leadership team members attending the program’s annual grantee meeting in September 2008. CVC is a four-year initiative funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to support state-based consumer health advocacy networks to increase their capacity to participate with key stakeholders, such as businesses, hospitals, insurers, providers and government officials, in health care reform efforts.

The purpose of these discussions was to learn about the successes and challenges experienced by the CVC grantees across the country during the first year of the grant period. A secondary purpose was to allow the participants to discuss and share ideas and to learn from the experiences of others.

Key Findings:

* Environmental conditions and changes force CVC coalitions to adjust.
* Coalitions of traditional allies are hard work.
* Trade-offs are necessary to gain support and maintain interest of diverse partners.
* CVC coalitions have developed innovative strategies to reach their audiences and problem solve.