Universal Access to Healthcare: GW Experts Shares How Nurse Practitioners Can Play an Active Role in Advocating for Change

September 27, 2023

Affordability and lack of access are some of the most pressing challenges many Americans face in navigating the U.S. healthcare system. While other countries have moved to a universal healthcare model, the U.S. largely remains a for-profit industry. Globally, there are efforts to provide healthcare access for all. Just last week, world leaders at a United Nations General Assembly High-Level meeting committed to redoubling their efforts to provide universal health coverage for all by 2030.  

In an editorial published this week in the journal The Nurse Practitioner, a professor at the George Washington University says there will be an inevitable need to implement universal access in some way in the U.S. healthcare system and that nurse practitioners can play a unique role in leading a path forward.

GW's Richard Ricciardi

Richard Ricciardi is associate dean for Clinical Practice & Community Engagement in the GW School of Nursing and the executive director for the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement at GW. Prior to joining GW, Ricciardi served as the Director of the Division of Practice Improvement and Senior Advisor for Nursing at The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Ricciardi also served on active duty in the US Army for 31 years. He maintains a part-time clinical practice at Mercy Health Clinic serving underserved populations.

Ricciardi can discuss what universal access to healthcare looks like and its public misconceptions as well as the role nurse practitioners can take in advocating for change and in offering support during implementation.

“Nurse practitioners have a history of partnering with patients to transform healthcare delivery,” Ricciardi wrote in the editorial. “As the nurse practitioner workforce continues to grow, so do opportunities and professional responsibility to lead efforts at the organizational, state, and federal levels and to advocate for policies that seek to achieve universal access in a system that equitably supports whole-person, team-based, person-centered care.”

If you would like to speak with Prof. Ricciardi, please contact GW Senior Media Relations Specialist Cate Douglass at [email protected]