In memory of Rob Restuccia

He helped ordinary people become empowered advocates for health equity.

Written by: Lisa Ranghelli

Date: March 14, 2019

On March 3, the movement for health justice lost one of its most passionate and effective leaders, Rob Restuccia.

As founding director of Health Care for All, Restuccia played a critical role in expanding children’s health access and securing universal health care legislation in Massachusetts.

Then he contributed to expanding and protecting health access nationally as longtime head of Community Catalyst, an organization NCRP board member Kate Villers founded in 1998.

In his final opinion piece published in The Boston Globe last month, Restuccia wrote:

“First, change happens when ordinary people become empowered advocates who can eloquently articulate their stories of hardships and then translate their experiences into compelling arguments for changing the system.

“Second, rather than view those in power as adversaries, it is far more effective to see them as partners with advocates and consumers. Time and again I have seen health care executives, policy makers, and government officials respond to powerful stories and take steps to make health care more just.”

Funders can honor his legacy by building on this winning strategy:

1. Donate to the Restuccia Leadership Fund, which will strengthen health care advocacy organizations around the country and address the deep inequities in the health care system.

2. Fund grassroots leadership development in your own communities, especially among low-income and residents of color, to foster the next generation of health advocates.

Restuccia concluded his final piece, “I can imagine my grandchildren one day living in a society where health care is a right and not a privilege, because of the many people who will continue to do the work that has been so important to me.”

Let’s help ensure Restuccia’s vision will come true.

Lisa Ranghelli is senior director of assessment and special projects at NCRP. Follow @NCRP and @lisa_rang on Twitter. Photo courtesy of Community Catalyst.

3