Meet our 2024
Single Payer Champions!

Click here to get your tickets today to join us on June 13!

Our first 2024 honore is Dr. Oliver Fein! Dr. Fein's commitment to social justice dates back to his time as a college student in 1958-1962. Oli was a political science and history major at Swarthmore College where he formed a political action club to fight against racial segregation. He was inspired by the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and decided he needed a skill to work in the civil rights movement and applied to medical school.

Following his first year at Western Reserve School of Medicine, Oli married Charlotte Phillips, who was also a medical student at Reserve. They decided to apply to Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) to start an Economic Research and Action Project (ERAP) in Cleveland. They moved into a poor white community with ten activists and worked on community organizing projects directed at building “the inter-racial movement of the poor.”  At the medical school, they helped create a chapter of the Student Health Organization (SHO) which advocated for community health projects that students from medical, nursing, dental and social work schools could participate in together. 

In 1967-68 Dr. Fein started his internship in the midst of the Vietnam War. He was drafted and sought conscientious objector status which was granted by his local, but not by his state draft board. His three year legal struggle as a conscientious objector, took him up to the Supreme Court, during which time he could not continue in residency. In the interim, he worked on health policy issues with the Health Policy Advisory Center (Health-PAC), a new left think tank. In 1972, he returned to residency training at Lincoln Hospital in the south Bronx, a hotbed of political activism in the 1970’s. After completing residency, Dr. Fein was recruited to Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, where he helped create the Division of General Internal Medicine. Besides practicing Internal Medicine, he served as Chief of General Medicine Outpatient Services.

In 1986 Oli convened a nationwide conference on health policy, where he met Dr. David Himmelstein and Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, the founders of PNHP. Soon after, he formed the NY Metro Chapter of PNHP. In 1993 he went to Washington DC as a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow, advocating for primary care as President Clinton took office with healthcare reform high on the agenda. He returned toNew York City in 1995 to serve as Board Chair of the NY Metro Chapter of PNHP. In 2009-10 Dr. Fein was elected and served as President of National PNHP. He then continued on to serve as Board Chair of the NY Metro Chapter of PNHP through December of 2023.

Oli was ahead of his time in understanding the crucial role that primary care played in a just and effective healthcare system. This eventually landed him a position at Cornell Medical College as an Associate Dean for Affiliations, teaching medical students about domestic and international political issues, including the struggle for single payer healthcare reform.

Dr. Fein is a household name in the field of health justice. As its leader for over 30 years, he built PNHP NY Metro into the largest PNHP chapter and has won innumerable awards from countless public health and policy organizations. He is a legend whose impact on civil rights and health justice is beyond extraordinary, so please get your tickets TODAY to join us on June 13 at 6PM to toast Dr. Oliver Fein and our other 2024 Benefit Celebrating Single Payer Champions who have contributed greatly to the struggle for healthcare justice! You can also contribute in Dr. Fein's honor here.


PNHP NY Metro is deeply honored to present our Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. Evelyn Jones Rich, a civil rights icon, at our health justice celebration on June 13, 2024. Secure your tickets to join us! 

Dr. Evelyn Jones Rich has devoted her entire life to the fight for social & racial justice. With help from a scholarship fund to promote an inter-racial college experience, Evie became the first Black student to live on campus while attending Bryn Mawr College (1950-1954), where she will be attending her 70th reunion later this month! On day one at Bryn Mawr, she joined Students for Democratic Action (SDA), the student affiliate of Americans for Democratic Action (ADA),  where she learned to be an effective organizer, agitator, and advocate. In the words of John Lewis, Evie has always made “good trouble”.

Evie Rich with husband Marvin & baby Gordon picketing American Airlines at Kennedy Airport 1962Dr. Rich and her late husband, Marvin, were true pioneers of the Civil Rights Movement. As a proponent for nonviolent direct action at CORE (Congress of Racial Equality), she began her struggle against segregation in the 1950’s. Evie and Marvin used the techniques of nonviolent direct action to confirm that the public facilities in Washington, DC, where then President Dwight Eisenhower had issued an executive order, were actually accepting Black visitors.  

In New York City she organized sit-ins and picket lines that targeted major institutions, including Macy’s and the Daily News, to demand that they hire people of color. CORE published a booklet, “Cracking the Color Line”, which described this work that motivated a different generation of people, those who challenged the beliefs of their parents and universities. The Freedom Rides were the result of this work, having captured the imagination of so many.

Evie interacted closely with the labor movement which supported CORE when her husband was its Community Relations Director, where he raised much of the money for the Freedom Rides.
Evie wants to ensure that we never forget the historical significance of the Freedom Rides in 1961 and the multi-faceted role of Labor in the Civil Rights Movement. She is extremely proud to have developed with others a virtual museum,, which celebrates the labor movement and displays the cultural and artistic heritage of working people.

Evie is an educator with a PhD from Columbia University in African Studies and Education. She is the co-author with Immanuel Wallerstein of an innovative textbook, Africa: Tradition and Change, which presents and analyzes original source documents revealing the panorama of African History. She was hired by Dr. Donna Shalala to be Dean for the Hunter College Campus schools in 1985 and to specifically identify gifted African American and Hispanic youngsters to integrate Hunter College elementary and high school. 

As a lifelong member of Americans for Democratic Action (ADA), Evie has attended every ADA convention which is where she was first exposed to the idea of single payer healthcare by a passionate Cleveland physician. She believes that healthcare is not only a human right, but also a civil right. 

Dr. Evie Rich, at left, rallying to defend Medicare from privatization; at center, rallying for reintroduction of the NY Health Act

As a municipal retiree, Evie has energized the present struggle against New York City’s attempt to put its retirees into a Medicare Advantage Plan. She stresses that this is not just a retiree problem, but a fight for all of our lives. Evie strongly believes that Labor should revive their appetite for major worker rights reforms and seize the opportunity to support the current movement for single payer healthcare, which would be a momentous win for workers and their families, akin to having established the 40-hour workweek.

Although Evie is retired, she is never tired. You will see her speaking out at rallies in the heat of summer and marching in frosty winter streets, conducting radio interviews, writing articles, and lobbying in Albany and DC, while continuously building strong coalitions and generously sharing her resources and hands-on organizing strategies. Her mother taught her to never accept “NO” as an answer; to always stand up for right and justice and to never look around, because all too often, she will be standing alone!

Evie has been recognized with multiple awards from the most highly respected organizations for her lifelong accomplishments in civil rights. She is an icon for social justice whose impact on this country is nothing less than legendary. She insists that We, the ordinary people, drive society, change society, so like the Freedom Riders and CORE, we must strive to do the same for healthcare justice. Our work is just beginning!

Please join us on June 13th to celebrate the remarkable achievements of this extraordinary civil rights and health justice icon, the beloved Dr. Evelyn Jones Rich. Contributions can also be made in Evie's honor, here.


PNHP NY Metro is thrilled to announce Make the Road New York as our final 2024 Health Justice Award honoree. Get your tickets today for our 2024 Benefit Celebrating Single Payer Champions on Thursday, June 13, 2024 at 6PM, in person or on Zoom!

Make the Road’s admirable mission is to build the power of immigrant and working class communities to achieve dignity and justice. They identify the core values necessary to improve immigrant’s lives and support them to reach their goals. In addition to policy advocacy, Make the Road is unique in providing direct services, such as food pantries, English proficiency and civics classes, youth and legal support, and organizing techniques to build the future of their communities. 

Basic human necessities like housing and healthcare are extremely difficult to obtain, especially for immigrants who are undocumented. Yet undocumented people work, contribute to society, and pay billions of dollars into the US federal & state tax systems that fund healthcare. Make the Road New York is one of the lead organizations in the #Coverage4All Campaign to expand the Essential Plan, using available federal funds, to provide insurance for low income and immigrant New Yorkers, many of whom are currently excluded from eligibility for coverage because of their immigration status.

Make the Road New York additionally sits on the Steering Committee of the Campaign for New York Health. They are staunch supporters of the New York Health Act which is our state single payer bill that would provide comprehensive, fairly-funded healthcare, including Long Term Care, for all New Yorkers regardless of income, citizenship, or any other status. Make the Road is thus one of our most dedicated partners in the struggle for universal healthcare.


Please join PNHP NY Metro on June 13th in celebrating Make the Road New York for the remarkable work that they undertake in making peoples’ lives so much more meaningful, productive and humane. The work Make the Road does is essential to our movement to pass the New York Health Act and Medicare for All, and for health justice for all. It is our honor to recognize Make the Road New York’s remarkable accomplishments and dedication with the 2024 PNHP NY Metro Health Justice Award.


In addition to our honorees named above, we are delighted to announce that, this year, we will also be recognizing two extraordinary Community Activists; Kevin Deming and Richard Hollman.

Kevin Deming is a producer and filmmaker in the commercial and narrative world, working in both lighting and editing.

Through his production company Working Artist Films, Kevin’s current push in directing comes alongside his desire to tell complex stories that shine light on the human condition. The opportunity to use his skillset to promote social justice excites him and he has been grateful to work alongside other talented creators like Richard Hollman in advancing these narratives.

Richard Hollman is an activist, actor, writer, musician, and long time supporter of the New York Health Act having participated in all manner of advocacy for the state-wide single-payer movement including educational events, lobby days in Albany, phone banking, marches, bike rides, and die-ins.

Rich was a TEDx speaker and is the founder of the all-volunteer run registered charity, Care Packages for the Homeless, now entering its 10th year. He also was once the improv coach to the Real Housewives of New York.

Two firemen lean against a wall
Click to view the short film on YouTube

Rich and Kevin are the creative minds behind a memorable satirical short film, released in 2021 in partnership with the Campaign for New York Health, that reimagines a world in which fire departments operate like our dysfunctional healthcare system. The film features Rich alongside two other prominent New York Health Act supporters; New York State Senator Jabari Brisport and Assembly Member Zohran Mamdani.

An all-volunteer effort, Rich and Kevin recruited a highly skilled crew to assist them in bringing their vision to fruition, each crew member contributing their time and expertise in support of the movement to pass the New York Health Act. Since its release, their film has garnered close to a million views across various online platforms. But that's not all!

We are extremely excited to announce that Rich and Kevin's next film about the NY Health Act will be coming out later this Summer!

We can’t share that film just yet but we can share a few photos taken during production as a little preview, to get you as excited as we are for its release!

Stay tuned for an announcement about Rich and Kevin's next film's release in the near future, and join us on Thursday to celebrate their hard work and achievements! CLICK HERE to get your in-person or virtual tickets and to find more info!