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Senate President Steinberg suggests possibility of funding Medi-Cal coverage
SACRAMENTO (March 5, 2014) --The leader of the California Senate has raised the possibility of funding coverage for applied behavior analysis (ABA) for autism through Medi-Cal, the state's Medicaid program.
Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg raised theMedicaid funding issue at the conclusion of a hearingby the Senate Select Committee on Autism & Related Disorders on the effectiveness of SB.946, the state's 2011 autism insurance reform law.Steinberg, who authored the law, said the law on balance has been a "tremendous success."
"The next step, of course, is extending (applied behavior analysis) therapy to families who are on Medi-Cal," Steinberg said, according to California Healthline. "It's equal protection. If it's good for some kids, then why isn't it good for all kids?
"It's an issue of money, and we intend to take that up during the budget session," Steinberg said. "We ain't done yet. There's one more budget cycle."
Last year, the Legislature and Governor Jerry Brown failedto reach a funding agreement to continue autism therapies for 900,000 children who transitioned out of the Healthy Families Programinto Medi-Cal. The transition was supposed to have resulted in no loss of services, but instead many families said their children lost access to ABA once in Medi-Cal.
KXTV-10,Sacramento's ABA affiliate station, reported on the hearing:
Jon Owen with Utah Autism Coalition makes case for SB.57
SALT LAKE CITY (March3, 2014) -- The Salt Lake Tribune conducted a live webchat on two autism insurance bills before the Legislature featuring reporter Kirsten Stewart, Jon Owen, president of the Utah Autism Coalition, Rep. Ronda Menlove and Kelly Atkinson, executive director of the Utah Health Insurance Association.
Menlove is sponsoring HB.88, which would makea pilot state program that serves 300 children with autism permanent. Menlove has said the program would address about 10 percent of the state's need.
Owen said his group supports SB.57, sponsored by Sen. Brian Shiozawa, which would require state-regulated health insurers to cover medically necessary treatments for autism, including applied behavior analysis (ABA). Owen said the bill, which passed the Senate last week, would complement Menlove's initiative by enabling families with insurance to use those benefits rather than join in the competition for benefitsprovided through the pilot program.
State with highest autism prevalence in the nation moves step closer to requiring treatments
SALT LAKE CITY (February 28, 2014) -- The Utah Senate has approved SB.57,thefurthest an autism insurance reform bill has progressed in the state Legislature since efforts began in 2009. Utah has the highest prevalence of autism in the nation at 1 in 47, yet is one of of only 16 states not to require private insurers to cover medically necessary treatments.
The vote was 18-7.
"Autism Speaks commends Senator Brian Shiozawa [left] for his leadership in steering this urgently needed legislation through the Utah Senate," said Mike Wasmer, Autism Speaks' associate director of state government affairs. "We join with the Utah Autism Coalition and the state's autism community in urging the House to now do what's right and pass this bill."
Shiozawa's bill would require state-regulated health plansto coverspeech, occupational and physical therapy, psychological and psychiatric care, and behavioral health treatments, including applied behavior analysis (ABA).Behavioral health treatment benefits would be capped annually at $36,000 throughage 9 and $18,000 from ages 9 through 18.
During debate on the bill Thursday, Shiozawa said autism is "in epidemic proportions, the insurance companies themselves say that autism is in epidemic proportions in the state of Utah. They acknowledge that this is a real condition, they also acknowledge that there is a best therapy for this.
"We're asking that they simply cover this condition," Shiozawa said.By supporting the bill, Shiozawa told his colleagues, "You give the children and their families, the thousands of children in the state of Utah a voice, a voice to be heard by the insurance companies, a voice that says to them we faithfully pay our premiums, please cover our condition."
Shiozawa said he had attempted to craft a workable bill by working with two major Utah insurers.
"I have gone to their offices, I have sat down with them, I have offered that we will do whatever we need to do to negotiate on this, on dates of services, on the ages, on the caps," he said. "Make this your bill, this is your opportunity. And their response is, no, we're going to fight this and we're not going to pay for this."
Senator Scott Jenkins of Plain City spoke against the bill, calling it a form of socializing costs. "This is making it a mandate for the insurance companies to cover their insured," he complained.
However, Senator Todd Weiler from Woods Cross said the autism debate had changed his views on insurance after a constituent explained how his son with autism was initially denied coverage for a broken arm.
"The insurance company denied the bill using as an excuse the child had been diagnosed with autism and that the broken arm most likely was caused because the child was autistic," Weiler said."That is discrimination. And if that's how insurance companies are going to treat children in my district, that's going to change my opinion about insurance mandates."
Senator Deidre Henderson of Spanish Fork said the insurance lobby had indicated that the billing was later resolved after an investigation determined the original denial was the result of a "miscode." She voted against the legislation.
Senator Karen Mayne, a retired para-educator from West Valley City, said when she began her career, no more than one or two children in the school had autism."When I left we had just about one in every class...This is an epidemic, this is divorce city, this is crisis city and there is only so much energy in a family and it does more than harm the child, it harms the family, it harmssociety."
Agency shows progress made under Combating Autism Act
WASHINGTON, DC (February 28, 2014) -- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has reported to Congress on how funding dedicated to autism research and services under the Combating Autism Act (CAA) has been allocated and theprogress that has been achieved under the law.
"Since the enactment of the Combating Autism Act in 2006, and its reauthorization under the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act of 2011, federal agencies, in partnership with the community, have made significant strides in addressing many of the pressing needs of individuals and families affected by autism spectrum disorder,"HHS reported.
The 2011 law dedicated $231 million a year in federal funding for autism research and services through September of this year to HHS, allocated primarily to the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Health Resources and Services Administration.
"Autism Speaks is actively working with our champions in Congress to reauthorize the CAA before September 30, and we will again demand this accountability over how federal dollars are spent on autism activities," said Liz Feld, president of Autism Speaks. "Progress has been gained in our understanding and treatment of autism, but much more needs to be done. The law should continue to provide structure and transparency for the most efficient and effective use of federal dollars.
"Autism Speaks has provided nearly $200 million for autism research and is funding breakthrough science that can make a difference for our community," she said, "but autism is an issue that covers the lifespan and we need a national strategy now to meet the employment, housing and community integration needs of all those affected.
"But we can't do this alone. We need a strong federal partner to address what is a national epidemic."
Among the advances cited by HHS between 2010 and 2013 were:
- the new prevalence estimate of 1 in 88 children, along with a finding that more children are being diagnosed by age 3, creating critical opportunities forearly intervention
- expanded outreach to underserved populations to access diagnoses
- new findings on risk factors, including environmental risk factors such as nutrients, air pollutants, pesticides, and paternal age
- studies of conditions that often co-occur with ASD, such as gastrointestinal disorders, sleep disruptions, and epilepsy, are contributing to intervention strategies
- efforts to develop and evaluate educational interventions, as well as provide guidance for schools on how to make school environments safe and conducive to learning for students with disabilities
"While the collaborative efforts of federal and state agencies and community partners have resulted in many research advances and improvements in services over the pastseven years, all acknowledge the growing needs of the community and the work that remains to be done,"HHS concluded. "Continued collaborative efforts between the public and private sectors will be essential to drive the innovations that will lead to improved identification, interventions, services, and policies that will enhance the lives of people with ASD and their families."
Measure would provide coverage through age 6
ATLANTA (February 25, 2014) -- The Georgia Senatevoted unanimously fora compromise autism insurance bill after hearing several lawmakers, some in tears and onequoting fromthe Gettysburg Address, argue for passage of the bill. It goes now to the House of Representatives.
Sponsored by Senator Tim Golden of Valdosta, the chair of the Senate Insurance Committee, the bill, SB.397, would require state-regulated health plans to cover the screening, diagnosis and treatment of autism through age six. Coverage of applied behavior analysis (ABA) treatment would be covered up to $35,000 a year.
"This is a finely crafted bill," said Golden. "If it is to have any chance at all (in the House), it needs to come out of the Senate with no changes."
Several speakers credited Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle for breaking an impasse in the Senate by helping to broker the new bill. Cagle spoke for the bill before the Insurance Committee last week, the first time he has ever appeared beforea legislative committee.
The Senate voted 51-0 for the bill, whichisa newcompromise version ofAva's Law. Sen. John Albers, the sponsor of the original Ava's Law bill, spoke in favor of the compromise version.
"This is a great day for Georgia," said Albers. "This helps children,it helps people with specialneeds and it saves the state money, allat the same time. If you every voted for a bill like that, I would like to know what it is."
Ava's Law was named after Ava Bullard of Lyons, whose mother Anna has helped rally advocates around the state for better insurance. Her uncle, Senator Tommie Williams, spoke passionately for the bill on the Senate floor and took on the National Federation of Independent Business, a lobbying arm for small businesses.
"I own five businesses and I've started other businesses that failed," Williams said. "When I buy something I'm not just interested in the lowest price, I'm interested in quality at the best price.
"That's what they (NFIB) should be doing for me as a small businessman, and not just saying every mandate is bad."
Bill moves to Senate with no caps on age, visits, or dollars
PIERRE, SD (February 24, 2014) -- The South Dakota House of Representatives yesterday approved an autism insurance reform bill 57-12 and sent the measure to the Senate. As amended by a House committeee, the bill, HB.1257,sets no dollar or visit caps on treatments, or age limits forreceiving treatment, which includes applied behavior analysis (ABA).
Rep. Scott Munsterman, the chair of the House Health and Human Services Committee, said the bill would apply to health plans covering 60,000 to 90,000 South Dakotans. In response to criticisms the legislation would not cover more indviduals, he said it could be amended in the Senate to be broader.
Much of the floor debate on the bill involvedcriticisms of the insurance industry. In response to an industry claim that autism coverage would raise premiums as much as $7 per person per year, one Representative said, "$7 a year? That's peanuts, we blow that out our gas tank every day."
Rep. Scott Ecklund [left], a Sioux Falls physician, said the state has only two developmental pediatricians, both of whom practice inSioux Falls. One told him that ABA has over 30 years of evidence to support its use as a medical treatment for autism, but that without insurance coverage too few families can access the therapy for their children.
Ecklund went on to mock the insurance industry's complaints about mandates."As a physician, the insurance companies mandate me all the time with their requirements," he said.
Select Committee on Autism will focus on implementation
SACRAMENTO (February 21, 2014) -- California Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg has scheduled a March 4 hearing to examine the impacts of the state's 2011 autism insurance reform law, including a review of how the Regional Centers have been affected.
The hearing before the Senate Select Committee on Autism & Related Disorders will take place at the State Capitol in Room 4203starting at 1:30 pm. A preliminary agenda is HERE.
Steinberg, who sponsored the 2011 law (SB.946), said the informational hearing will focus on four areas:
A significant portion of the hearing is expected to fous on the law's impact on the Regional Centers. Kristin Jacobson, representing the Alliance of California Autism Organizations, will present the findings of a statewide surveyof consumers conducted by the Autism Society.
Lt. Gov. Cagle attends hearing to support bill
ATLANTA (February 20, 2014) -- The Georgia Senate Insurance Committee yesterday unanimously approved a new autism insurance reform bill that had been introduced just hours earlier. During the hearing, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle [below], making his first-ever appearanceat a committee meeting, offered support for the state's autism community.
Sponsored by Senate Insurance Committee Chairman Tim Golden, the new bill (SB.397) now moves to the Senate floor where a vote could come as early as Tuesday. The bill differs in a number of respects from Ava's Law (SB.191), requiring:
- Assessments, evaluations or tests by a licensed physician or licensed psychologist to diagnose whether an individual has an autism spectrum disorder
- Applied Behavior Analysis up to $35,000 per year provided or supervised by a BCBA
- Counseling services provided by a licensed psychiatrist, psychologist, clinical professional counselor or clinical social worker
- Therapy services provided by a licensed or certified speech therapist, occupational therapist or physical therapist
- Coverage throughage six
"Autism Speaks commends Lt. Gov. Cagle, Senator Golden and Senator Renee Unterman for persevering on this issue to find a workable bill," said Judith Ursitti, Autism Speaks' director fo state government affairs. "This is a bittersweet moment as the new bill would provide less coverage than Ava's Law, but this is an important first step as we continue to seek the best coverage for the most families."
Sen. John Albers, the sponsor of Ava's Law, urged advocates to support the new bill. Neither the Albers bill nor its House companion bill, sponsored byRep. Ben Harbin, have received committee hearings with time starting to run short in the current Georgia legislative session.
On Monday, the House approved Gov. Nathan Deal's proposed new state budget which would extend autism insurance coverage for state employees and teachers.
Committee votes unanimously to require coverage of autism treatment
PIERRE, SD (February 20, 2014) -- The South Dakota House Health and Human Services Committee today strengthened then unanimously approved HB.1257, the autism insurance reformbill, sending the measure to the House floor. The floor vote is expected early next week.
"Autism Speaks joins the South Dakota autism community in thanking Rep. Scott Munsterman [left], the committee chair, for moving the bill so quickly," said Mike Wasmer, Autism Speaks associate director of state government affairs. "Because of his leadership, the bill has also been significantly strengthened through his committee amendments which impose no age, dollar or visit limits."
The bill would require state-regulated health plans to cover the screening, diagnosis and treatment of autism. Covered treatments would include applied behavior analysis (ABA), psychiatric, psychologicaland pharmaceutical care, and speech, occupational and physical therapy.
South Dakota is one of just 16 remaining states yet to enact autism insurance reform, but is among a host of those states which are actively moving legislation to enact reform. Among its neighboring states, Minnesota, Montana and Iowa have enacted reform laws, and Nebraska advocates will kick off their 2014 campaign next Tuesday in Lincoln with Gov. Dave Heineman and state Senator Colby Coash.
Mike Wasmer explains why advocates should oppose HB.2704, support Rubin bill
TOPEKA (February 19, 2014) -- Autism Speaks is urging Kansas lawmakers to reject HB.2704, a bill introduced late last week in the House Insurance Committee and misrepresented as a "compromise" bill by its proponents. Neither the autism community nor Rep. John Rubin, the sponsor of HB.2531, have endorsed this new bill.Take action HERE to stop HB.2704 and move the Rubin bill instead!
Mike Wasmer, a Kansas resident and Autism Speaks associate director of state government affairs, explains why HB.2704 would be bad for Kansas:
For six years, parents of children with autism in Kansas have put their trust in their elected officials to do the right thing. Sadly, those in power in the Kansas legislature continue to ignore their constituents to the detriment of our most vulnerable citizens. HB. 2704 is just the latest in a series of bad jokes being played on the autism community of Kansas.Rather than improving access to medically necessary treatment for autism, HB.2704 proposes cutting existing autism services for state employees and offers a meaningless benefit to a mere fraction of the rest of us.
In response to public outcry over another year of political gamesmanship during the 2013 legislative session that prevented a hearing on the autism insurance bill, the Kansas City Star reported that “House Speaker Ray Merrick, who was accused of bottling up the autism bill this year, has vowed to push a bill through himself next session if the insurance industry won't compromise on the issue.”While Speaker Merrick promised to facilitate negotiations between autism advocates and the health insurance industry, these negotiations were not undertaken in good faith.
Hearing nothing from the Speaker's office regarding possible negotiations over the legislative interim, Representative John Rubin and 34 House co-sponsors filed HB.2531. The bill would preserve existing coverage for medically necessary treatment of autism provided under the 2010 state employees “pilot project” and extend that coverage to hundreds more children with autism covered by state-regulated health plans. The response? House leadership promptly sent a clear message that HB.2531 would not get a hearing and instead called a meeting between autism advocates and representatives from the health insurance lobby.
Before those discussions were complete, the insurance lobby filed HB.2704 in the House Insurance Committee. The committee chair, Representative Scott Schwab, has announced that HB 2704 is “the compromise bill.”HB 2704 is NOT a compromise between autism advocates and the insurance lobby
Autism advocates will not support a bill that cuts hard-won autism services for state employees.Autism advocates will not support a bill that imposes caps on services that would be among the lowest in the country, impeding the provision of medically necessary treatment.
Rather than supporting a bill that would help our children, autism advocates now find themselves in a position opposing a bill that would cut services for the lucky few who are covered by a State Employee Health Plan.Are Speaker Merrick and others in a position of leadership in the legislature punishing parents of children with autism for simply not going away?
The prevalence of autism has increased 1,000 fold in the past 40 years.According to the Centers for Disease Control at least 1 in every 88 children have autism.We are not going away, Mr. Speaker - there will be more of us every year.
Autism is treatable.Many of our children can lead independent, productive lives if provided access to medically necessary treatment. Continued opposition to meaningful autism insurance reform kills hope, robs futures and costs the State of Kansas millions of dollars in special education and taxpayer-funded adult disability services.
As mayor develops first budget, schoools funding urged for training, awareness
NEW YORK (February 14, 2014) -- Autism Speaks President Liz Feld today urged New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio to address the problem of wandering by children with autism as he prepares his first budget.
"Keeping our most vulnerable children safe is our first responsibility," said Feld. "One step towards that is providing sufficient support for programs to raise awareness and increase training in our public schools to address the problem of wandering by children with autism.
"In partnership with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, Autism Speaks is devoting tools and resources to educate the community, including school staff, to better protect our children across America," she added. "We look to Mayor Bill DeBlasio in crafting his first budget to devote sufficient resources to that task in New York City.”
To learn more about the Autism Speaks partnership with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children go here
House panel hears from families, plans vote next week
PIERRE, SD (February 14, 2014) -- South Dakota families and autism advocatestestified beforea House committee yesterday of the financial struggles providing care forchildren with autism when their state does not require insurance companies to provide coverage.
The House Health and Human Services Committee will reconvene Tuesday to take action onHB.1257, a bill that would make South Dakota the 35th state to enactautism insurance reform.
"We have to find a solution for these families, because this is devastating to the families,"Rep. Manny Steele of Sioux Falls, a committee member, told KDLT-TV after the hearing. "The longer we wait on these autistic kids, the harder it will be to help them."
Autism Speaks has endorsed the bill whichwould require state-regulated health plans to cover therapies for individuals diagnosed with autism in locations including a provider's office, a clinic, or "in a setting conducive to the acquisition of the target skill." Treatments provided in schools would also be covered if they do not duplicate what services provided by the school.
Committee clears bill requiring coverage of ABA, basic therapies
SALT LAKE CITY (February 14, 2014) -- The 2014 Utah autism insurance reform bill is headed to the Senate floor following passage today by the Senate Business and Labor Committee on a 6-1 vote. Utah has the highest prevalence of autism in the nation, yet is one of only 16 remaining states yet to bar insurers from refusing to cover basic therapies on the basis of anautism diagnosis.
Sponsored by Sen. Brian Shiozawa, the bill, SB.57, would require state-regulated health plans to cover applied behavior analysis (ABA) treatment for autism up to $36,000 a year for children through age 8, then up to $18,000 a year though age 17. Thebill mirrors a coverage plan Salt Lake Mayor Ben McAdams proposed for county employees in his 2014 budget proposal.
In addition, coverage would be required forspeech, occupational and physical therapy, as well as pharmaceutical benefits.
Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees would be exempt from providing the coverage if they could demonstrate it raised the cost of their health plans by 2.5 percent or more. A new study in Missouri showed the impact of its autism insurance reform law during 2013 on total health care costs was 0.2 percent.
According to a 2012 Centers for Disease Control study, 1 in every 47 Utah children has autism, the highest rate in the nation and significantly higher than the 1 in 88 national average. The University of Utah calculated that between 2002-2008, autism prevalence increased twice as fast in Utah than nationally (157 percent versus 78 percent.)
The 2014 bill marks the third attempt in three years Utah legislators have taken on the issue. Jon Owen, president of the Utah Autism Coalition,relatesin a blog how his son Ben's autism diagnosisled to insurance claims getting rejected "for anything from well-child visits to a broken arm."
Andrea Griggs of Murray reported how paying the cost of just one year of ABA therapy for her son Jaxon forced her family to sell their homeand downsize to a house half the size. Her family's insurance also refused to cover treatment because of Jaxon's autism diagnosis.
Autism Awareness Rally at the Capitol will feature Sen. Coash
LINCOLN (February 13, 2014) -- An Autism Awareness Rally at the Nebraska capitol has been set for February 25 to kick offthis year'slegislative push for autism insurance reform.
The rally will feature Sen. Colby Coash [left], who introduced an insurance reform bill,LB-505, last year. The bill received ahearing in the Banking, Insurance and Commerce Committee, but was deferred for further action action until this year.Nebraska is nowone of just 16 remaining states yet to enact reform through legislation.
The rally is scheduled for Room 1023, located on the first floor of the west side of the capitol building between 9 and 11 am. In addition to Coash, speakers will include Mike Wasmer, Autism Speaks' associate director of state government affairs; Cathy Martinez, of the Autism Family Network, and; Melissa Schop, of the Autism Society of Nebraska. For more details, go here.
The Coash bill would require up to $70,000 a year in coverage for behavioral health treatment, such as Applied Behavior Analysis, for the first three years of treatment. The limit would be $20,000 annually thereafter until the age of 21.
Colorado, Kansas and Iowa are among the 34 states that already require some form of autism insurance coverage. Legislation is moving in Kansas to expand itslaw and a reform bill has begun moving through the South Dakota legislature.
Limited to federal contracts, the minimum hourly wage would rise to $10.10
WASHINGTON, DC (February 12, 2014) -- President Obama signed an executive order today raising the hourly minimum wage for federal contracts from $7.25 to $10.10,including for workers with disabilities.
The President was fulfilling a promise he made in his 2014 State of the Union address in signing the order, which affects only workers paid under federal contracts. An across-the-board minimum wage increase would require action by Congress.
"Under current law, workers whose productivity is affected because of their disabilities may be paid less than the wage paid to others doing the same job under certain specialized certificate programs," the White House said. "Under this Executive Order, all individuals working under service or concessions contracts with the federal government will be covered by the same $10.10 per hour minimum wage protections."
Among those workers with disabilities who could see a pay raise, the White House cited groundskeepers at military bases.
According to the White House statement, the Executive Order "will benefit hundreds of thousands of people working under contracts with the federal government who are making less than $10.10 an hour. It will also improve the value that taxpayers are getting from the federal government's investment.
"Studies show that boosting low wages will reduce turnover and absenteeism, while also boosting morale and improving the incentives for workers, leading to higher productivity overall," it said. "These gains improve the quality and efficiency of services provided to the government."
House of Representatives sends Senate a bill requiring autism coverages
JACKSON, MS (January 11, 2014) -- The Mississippi House of Representativesapproved an autism insurance reform billHB.542, sending it to the Senate by unanimous 120-0 vote.
"I feel we have done a good job educating the 120 members of the House," said Quess Hood [left] of Ripley, who has helped lead the grassroots campaign for the bill. "Now we wantthe opportunity to do thatwith the Senate. It's going to be hard to ignore such a strong message when we passed it unanimously.
"The resistancehas beenlegislators not being educated in what people go through with a child with autism," he said.
Thebill would require coverage of the screening, diagnosis and treatment, including applied behavior analysis (ABA), of autism for state employees and teachers. The legislation would take effect July 1 if enacted. The Mississippi State and School Employees Health Insurance Plan covers 31,000 enrollees.
"Autism Speaks thanks our bill sponsor, Rep. Steve Massengill, of Hickory Flat, and Rep. Charles Busby of Pascagoula, who led the vote on the House floor,"said Shelley Hendrix, Autism Speaks' director of grassroots advocacy. "We look forward to quick Senateconsiderationof our bill."
TheSenateversion of the bill, SB.2679, is sponsored Sen. Rita Potts Parkof Corinth.
In addition to ABA treatment, the bill would require coverage for autism-related psychiatric, psychological, pharmaceutical and therapeutic care, such as speech, occupational and physical therapy. The bill was amended in committee to assure that any pharmaceuticals used in treatment are approved by the Food and Drug Administration.The bills set no dollar caps or limits on visits.
Mississippi is one of four southern states considering autism insurance reform legislation this year. In Georgia,the state's autism insurance reform bill, Ava's Law, awaits a hearing in Senate committee.In Tennessee, legislative action is expected to kick off shortly, while the North Carolina Senate is expected this spring to take up an autism insurance reform bill that passed the House 105-7 last year.
Award Ceiling: $4,000
The Aspen Institute Program on Philanthropy and Social Innovation (PSI) in Washington, DC, offers the William Randolph Hearst Endowed Fellowship three times annually. The fellowship, which is based on academic excellence and need, is open to both undergraduate and graduate students of color. The Hearst Fellow serves as an intern with PSI in the Washington, DC office of the Aspen Institute. Through this fellowship, PSI seeks to introduce a diverse group of students to issues and challenges affecting philanthropy, social enterprise, nonprofit organizations, and other actors in the social sector. Recipients may arrange with their colleges or universities to receive academic credit for this experience.