For decades, Alfred J. Chiplin, Jr. (Chip) has been a beloved and admired leader in the elder law, disability and health care rights communities. To honor Chip’s long-term advocacy and commitment to civility and justice for all members of society, the Center for Medicare Advocacy has established an award in his honor. The Alfred J. Chiplin, Jr., Social Justice & Advocacy Award, will be given annually to an individual who works to advance civility in society and social justice for all – as Chip has done for decades.
Congratulations to this year's Chiplin award winner, Josephine Kalipeni. Ms. Kalipeni is the Director of Policy and Partnerships at Caring Across Generations. Ms. Kalipeni’s expertise includes asset-based grassroots and faith organizing, public speaking, and policy development for issues-based campaigns in health, education, and international affairs, with a focus on racial and economic equity. She initially worked in family case management and social work, assisting families navigating various public systems. Seeing firsthand the limitations and opportunities of social programs, Ms. Kalipeni has worked to increase health access through public social policy for children and families. She has provided technical and policy assistance to state organizations working on progressive policy and researched and developed state and national policy. She has also worked to increase health access through public social policy, with a focus on expanding and altering Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act. Josephine focuses on public policy benefit design and issues campaigns development through community-based organizations.
Ms. Kalipeni values developing policy through a collective impact and asset-based model that centers on the experiences of those most impacted by the issue as the experts in formulating a solution. She has worked with organizations like the NAACP, Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce, Progressive Action for the Common Good, and Families USA. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology with a concentration in political science and religious studies from the University of Illinois, a Mental Health Professional (MHP) certificate, and a Masters in Social Justice and Community Development with an expertise in global and health policy from Loyola University in Chicago.
The inaugural award was given to Ben Belton, Former Senior Advisor to the Acting Commissioner, Social Security Administration, the first recipient of the the Alfred J. Chiplin, Jr., Social Justice & Advocacy Award. Ben most recently served in the administration of President Barack Obama as a Senior Advisor to the Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (SSA). In that role, he oversaw the development and implementation of agency initiatives for older Americans and the national aging network. Ben also worked very closely with the White House and other federal agencies on issues affecting older Americans. His commitment to aging issues was reflected in the integral role he played in planning for the 2015 White House Conference on Aging and serving on the Conference’s Elder Justice Policy Committee.
He has over ten years of experience working on aging issues, having also served at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, and on the 2008 Obama for America campaign, where he helped direct the campaign’s outreach to older voters. He has also served as a director on the board of the National Alliance for Caregiving, a member of the Eldercare Locator Advisory Committee and on the Dementia Friendly America National Council. Ben completed his studies in Sociology at Bowie State University in Maryland.
The Center is grateful to all those who donated in support of the inaugural award:
Amoruso & Amoruso, LLP, Linda Anderson, Mary Ashkar, Howard Atlas, Joe Baker, Jean Ball, Donna Bashaw, Carol Battaglia, Corinna Beebe, Begley Law Group PC, Ali Bers, Terry Berthelot, Fay Blix, Bess M. Brewer, William Brisk, Baird Brown, Martha Brown, William Browning, Geraldine Champion, Susan Collins, Ken Coughlin, Richard Courtney, Hyman Darling, Lawrence Davidow, Kim Laurie Dayton Hanson, Gil Deford, William Dombi, Patricia Dudek, Toby Edelman, Elder Law of East Tennessee, Elder & Disability Law Center, Ellice Fatoullah, Ronald Fatoullah, Jim Firman, Daniel Fish, Theresa Forster, Frank Frank Scherr LLC, Robert M. Freedman, Leslie Fried, Keith Bradoc Gallant, Myra Gilfix, Elizabeth Goldberg, Lee Goldberg, Susan Goldring, H Amos Goodall, Sue Greeno, Lisa Hall, Donna Harkness, Linda Harootyan, Norman Harrison, Marielle Hazen, Mark Holmes, Kathy Holt, Hook Law Center, Barbara Hughes, Mary Jackson, Frank Johns, Karyne Jones, Natalie Kaplan, Kata Kertesz, Sandra Khawam, Morris Klein, Madeline Kober, Bernard Krooks, Wey-Wey Kwok, Ron Landsman, Kathryn Lang, Ellen Leitzer, Whitney Lewendon, Kristen Lewis, Bailey Liipfert, Brian Lindberg, David Lipschutz, Littman Krooks LLP, Sarah Lock, Janet Lowder, Joanne Lynn, Shawn Majette, Harry Margolis, Philip Marshall, Kathleen M. Martin, Cheryl Matheis, Matz Blancato and Associates, Inc., Robert McClelland, Stephen McConnell, Nicola J. Melby, Katherine Mewhinney, Barry Meyers, Franchelle Millender, Cherie Mollison, Rebecca Morgan, Alex L. Moschella, Anne Moses, Rajiv Nagaich, National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare, Thomas Nay Jr., Helen Cohn Needham, Patricia Nemore, David D. Nesbit, William & Frances Novelli, Mark Olshan, William Overman, Michael Parks, Scott Perkins, Frank Petrich, Edward & Ruth Phelps, Harriet Prensky, Kevin Prindiville, Craig Reaves, Rene Reixach, Sharon Rivenson-Mark, Charlie Robinson, Larry Rocamora, Ashkon Roozbehani, Vincent Russo, Charles Sabatino, Stacy Sanders, Mary Schmitt-Smith, Sally Schoffstall, David Schulke, Scott Severns, Paul Shapiro, Samantha Shepherd, Stephen Silverberg, Doreen Simonsen, Jane Skelton, Robert Slutsky, Christopher Smith, Edward Spurgeon, Judy Stein & Ken Dardick, Ira Stewart Wiesner, Robyn Stone, Peter Strauss, Paul Sturgul, Reginald Turnbull, Emily Starr (Starr Vander Linden LLP), Peter Wacht, Lauchlin Waldoch, Edwin Walker, Jerome Weingart, Shirley Whitenack, Gregory Wilcox, Neal Winston, Leslie Wizelman, Erica Wood, Carol & Stuart Zimring.