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Alumna Steps into the White House Spotlight

Regina Moran (in blue, next to President Obama) was in the
White House spotlight on February 3rd.


"It was like Christmas, your birthday, and the Fourth of July rolled into one."


That's how Regina Moran, a 2009 Neumann graduate, describes her day at the White House. She was one of ten people in the country who were selected to be the "Faces of Health Care" at a February 3 event, held in the Roosevelt Room. She met the President, shared her story during a press briefing, posed for photos in the Oval Office, and was interviewed on MSNBC.


Regina Moran '09
Regina Moran '09 with President Obama
Regina Moran '09 with President Obama

It was a day in the national spotlight for the political science major who is a social worker for Burlington Resources for Independent Living in New Jersey. The journey started in July 2014 when Regina sent an email to the White House, explaining how the Affordable Care Act had made such a positive impact on her life.


“I am not sure there has been a word invented in any language to express my deep and heartfelt gratitude for passing the Affordable Health Care Act,” she wrote. “By age 25, I had two battles with cancer and more surgeries than I could count.” Regina had been spending almost $700 a month on medical coverage and prescriptions, an amount that was reduced to $318 under the Affordable Care Act.


“I remember breaking down into tears because no longer was I going to be punished for a disease I never asked for,” she continued. “Because of you and your bravery to fix a broken system I am finally able to breathe and relax for the first time since 2009 … You have forever altered my life. I will never be able to fully repay you for all that you have done for me.”


She didn't expect what happened next. In early October, the White House informed her that she was one of the ten “Faces of Health Care.” Two weeks later, a senior advisor called her to chat more about her experience. Then, on January 29, a staff member from the White House Office of Public Engagement called and asked if she could come to Washington the following Tuesday.


"I was screaming yes into the phone while I was jumping up and down," Regina recalls.


On February 3, the day of the meeting, all ten invitees were treated to a tour of the East and West Wings before they were shepherded into the Roosevelt Room. Regina remembers the President throwing open the door, offering a hearty good morning to the group and shaking hands with everyone. The press then filed in to hear remarks by President Obama before the ten, one by one, told their stories.


The President mentioned Regina by name several times during his remarks, and a highlight for the Neumann alumna came after he invited the group to join him for a photo in the Oval Office. With everyone in place, anxiously awaiting the photo, President Obama looked to his right and said, "Regina, come stand next to me."


When the photo-op ended, the press was provided the opportunity to interview the ten individuals. On the way to the interview, a staff member from the White House Press Office caught up to Regina and confided, "You're the spokesperson for the group." She had obviously made a positive impression.


Just when Regina thought her whirlwind day had concluded, another staffer told her that MSNBC wanted to interview her during the 6 p.m. hour. Of course, she stayed and participated in a nine-minute live interview with host Al Sharpton that evening.


In the days following her White House experience, Regina admits that she was inundated with congratulatory texts and emails from friends and family. Now, however, she's settling back into her usual routine and concentrating on the things that are more important than her cameo as a celebrity: her health (her cancer is in remission) and her approaching wedding on August 15.

Watch the White House video here:


Watch the MSNBC interview here:



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