Join WVAHC in thanking our fellow West Virginians for sharing their health care stories!

Meet our video contributors!

Hunter Starks:  A West Virginia Medicaid Ambassador (6.21.2021)
Hunter lives in Charleston, West Virginia, where they first got involved in advocacy work after college when they began volunteering for a local clean water group. This work eventually developed into a career in community organizing. 

Hunter’s passion for community service is rooted in a deep appreciation for social safety net programs like public housing, SNAP, and Medicaid--all of which helped their family stay afloat during an occupational transition in 2017. At the time, Hunter’s data-entry job with the state provided health insurance benefits and was a stable source of income during their post-college years. Once their daughter PK was born however, finances shifted and Hunter found themselves spending more than half of every paycheck on childcare.

A West Virginia Postpartum Story (4.13.2021)
*Crystal is a mom of two living in rural Gilmer County, West Virginia. She enrolled in Medicaid when income eligibility was increased for pregnant women in July of 2019 while she was pregnant with her youngest child. Medicaid gave her access to vital prenatal care to monitor her high-risk pregnancy and paid for her emergency C-section. 
Crystal agreed to share her story but asked that her name be kept private. 

Mindy - A Type 1 Diabetes Story (3.19.2021)
Mindy is a mom and Type 1 diabetic from Morgantown, WV. Even though she has health insurance through her employer, Mindy still spends about $350 every month paying for her prescription medications, insulins, and other diabetes supplies she needs to stay healthy and alive. She says the types of medications and insulins she takes are determined more so by what is covered by her insurance, rather than what her doctor says will provide her the best possible quality of life. In the past, Mindy has even had to ration her insulin because she could not afford to buy it. "Everybody knows somebody who's diabetic. We need to treat everyone equally and allow everyone to receive the care that they need, and get the medication and supplies that they need to survive. 

Alan Hawkins -Type 1 Diabetes Story (3.11.2021)

Alan is a pharmacist and diabetic educator from Barboursville, WV living with Type 1 Diabetes.

Adrian - A Type 1 Diabetes Story (2.26.2021)

Meet Adrian! Mom, teacher, and Type 1 Diabetic who has spent more than $250,000 over the course of her life managing her autoimmune disease. You can help lower the financial burden of diabetes in West Virginia by supporting House Bill 2708 - and place copay caps on insulin, non-insulin prescription medication, supplies, and equipment related to diabetes care. Contact your representatives today by clicking here.


Mariah Plante 
Story Collection Coordinator 

Mariah is a Kanawha County native, artist, and storyteller who will help you craft your story into an effective and powerful advocacy tool that you can use to help improve access to quality, affordable health care for all West Virginians.