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Health Care Access for All Americans Focus of New Health Team Leader at National Center for Children in Poverty

New York City, February 8, 2010 – A health care expert with substantial experience in health policy and administration has joined the staff of the National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP), part of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

Christel Brellochs, MPH, former deputy director of New York City’s Mayor’s Office of Health Insurance Access and deputy commissioner of the Office of Citywide Health Insurance Access, will focus on the NCCP’s health and mental health area, leading policy analysis as well as research.

“This is great news for NCCP,” says Janice Cooper, PhD, interim director of the organization, which concentrates on early childhood, health and mental health and family economic security, with research and policy analysis covering each of the 50 states as well as American territories. “Christel fills an important niche for us, combining broad-ranging health care expertise with hands-on policy and administration know-how.”

In her recent experience with the City of New York, Brellochs directed analyses of national, state, and city proposals to expand health insurance access and studies to determine the extent and continuity of public health insurance coverage among public school students. She initiated the development of NYC Health Insurance Link, a web-based tool, which allows comparisons of health insurance costs and the individual and small group market. NCCP is known for its own web-based tools, including the Family Resource Simulator and the Basic Needs Budget Calculator, notes Dr. Cooper.

Brellochs’ background also includes directing the national School Health Policy Initiative, now the National Assembly on School-Based Health Care and numerous innovative projects increasing access to primary care for low-income populations. She has served as a consultant to community-based organizations and national foundations on the organization of school and neighborhood based primary care. She received a master’s in public health degree from the University of Oklahoma, and a bachelor’s degree in English and Philosophy from Seattle University.

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The National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) is the nation’s leading public policy center dedicated to promoting the economic security, health and well-being of America’s low-income families and children. Part of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, NCCP uses research to inform policy and practice with the goal of ensuring positive outcomes for the next generation.