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Local Nurse Practitioner Advocate To Be Honored At National AANP Conference

Salt Lake City, June 8, 2015 — The Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) 2015 National Conference held June 9 - 14, 2015, in New Orleans, Louisiana is holding an awards ceremony honoring nurse practitioners (NP) and nurse practitioner advocates who have received the prestigious AANP 2015 State Award for Excellence. Joan Gallegos of Salt Lake City, Utah will be among the recipients honored.

The State Award for Nurse Practitioner Excellence, founded in 1991, recognizes a NP in a state who demonstrates excellence in practice. In 1993, the State Award for Nurse Practitioner Advocate was added to recognize the efforts of individuals who have made a significant contribution toward increasing awareness and acceptance of NPs.

Gallegos is being honored as a Nurse Practitioner Advocate, in part for her role in removing barriers to Medicaid coverage and reimbursement for nurse practitioners. In the past, only pediatric and family NPs were covered under Medicaid, but Gallegos actively worked for changing this and as of last summer all NPs are now eligible for Medicaid coverage.

"I am honored because nurse practitioners, in my opinion, are one of the first lines to deliver primary care and they do a magnificent job taking care of the underserved population in Utah," Gallegos said. "To be recognized by their professional association is very humbling."

Gallegos says she receives most of her primary care from NPs and says the service they provide will be irreplaceable in the future.

"Nurse practitioners are going to be increasingly relied on for primary care as more and more people obtain health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. They are valuable providers in our rural areas for ensuring access to care," Gallegos said.

Gallegos has worked in health care for more than 30 years, serving on multiple community boards and working in several different health care related positions including director of the Utah Medicaid program and executive director for the Utah Health Care Association. Gallegos is currently working for HealthInsight Utah as a project coordinator, where she leads the effort to implement nurse residency programs and increase nursing diversity in Utah.

About American Association of Nurse Practitioners

The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) is the largest professional membership organization for nurse practitioners (NPs) of all specialties. It represents the interests of more than 205,000 NPs, including approximately 60,000 individual members and 200 organizations, providing a unified networking platform and advocating for their role as providers of high quality, cost-effective, comprehensive, patient-centered and personalized health care. The organization provides legislative leadership at the local, state and national levels, advancing health policy; promoting excellence in practice, education and research; and establishing standards that best serve NP patients and other health care consumers.

For more information, visit aanp.org. To locate a nurse practitioner in your area, visit npfinder.com.

About HealthInsight

HealthInsight is a recognized leader in convening and partnering with our communities to improve health and health care by advancing quality, efficiency and value for patients and providers. HealthInsight Utah serves as a catalyst, using collaborative efforts to facilitate and promote the quality and safety of health care to achieve improved outcomes and value for all Utahans. Learn more at healthinsight.org.