Editor:           

            As a Cook County HIV Primary Care Nurse Practitioner and a proud Evanston mom, I urge my neighbors to support Robyn Gabel for state representative of the 18th legislative district.   

            Robyn Gabel’s life is dedicated to improving the lives of families in our district and our state.  Robyn has made prenatal and pediatric care a reality for millions of moms and children across the Illinois.  In our 18th district alone, over 7,000 children are covered by All Kids health insurance, due to Robyn’s work.

            Robyn has never been one to choose an easy path.  As the executive director of the Illinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition, she could have simply done a good job by working on the problem of infant mortality in Chicago.  Instead, she expanded her maternal child health work to the whole state, including severely medically underserved rural Illinois districts.  Robyn found too many Illinois babies were being born with HIV because their mothers were not tested during pregnancy.  Robyn trained nurses in downstate clinics to test pregnant women for HIV, resulting in a two thirds drop in HIV transmission from mothers to babies.  In the 1990’s, when Washington began to allow states to expand healthcare to the uninsured, Robyn lead a state wide campaign to make health care services accessible, resulting in prenatal care for most pregnant women and the successful All Kids insurance programs.   

            All these successes required that Robyn work strategically with both Republican and Democrats in the legislature in Springfield.  Recognizing her effectiveness, legislators and department chiefs have appointed her to important policy committees, such as the Illinois Medicaid Advisory Committee and the Illinois Commission on the Elimination of Poverty.   

            In 2005, Robyn’s record of leadership and service was recognized when the Chicago Community Trust awarded its most prestigious Fellowship for Community Leaders Award to Robyn.  This award is the local equivalent of the McArthur genius grants.   

            As our representative, Robyn Gabel will continue her record of service to our families.  She will use her long experience and deep knowledge of working with the legislature to promote a progressive agenda in Springfield.   

            Please join me in voting for Robyn Gabel, a true progressive fighter, on February 2.

 Deborah L Wolen, APN, MS