- Personal Email: INTERNET
- Home Phone: (202) 785-3669home
Rachel Patterson is a highly respected disability advocate and change agent. She strategically organizes, advocates and influences policy at the federal, state and community levels to enhance the lives of people with disabilities and their families. She specializes in long-term services and supports (LTSS), family support policy, and the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on people with disabilities.
As the sister of a young woman with developmental disabilities, Rachel is personally committed and professionally driven to ensure people with disabilities are empowered. She served as director of public policy for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, raising awareness and advancing initiatives to improve the quality of life of people with paralysis. She organized advocacy efforts to improve and maintain LTSS in Medicaid managed care. In partnership with the National Council on Disability, she authored a new publication, which was released at a White House event, to help parents with disabilities understand their rights. She led several consumer coalitions, lobbying to preserve access to rehabilitation and durable medical equipment.
A policy manager and analyst for the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), Rachel represented a network of disability research, education and service centers. She created HCBSadvocacy.org – a web-based tool to engage grassroots advocates in monitoring and implementing new CMS regulations and became a nationally recognized expert on the regulation. She mobilized AUCD members to promote inclusion of people with disabilities in ACA implementation and Medicaid expansion state-by-state.
Rachel is a leader. She co-chaired the largest national cross-disability task force protecting and promoting home and community-based services (HCBS) in Medicaid. As board member of the Sibling Leadership Network, she successfully lobbied the U.S. Department of Labor to expand job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act for siblings of individuals with disabilities.
Rachel earned her master’s degree in public administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University and her bachelor’s degree in politics from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington.
An avid runner and cyclist, Rachel can be found most weekends in Washington’s beautiful Rock Creek Park.