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Healthcare Now founder Marilyn Clement 6/30/35- 8/3/09

“…working for the common good is a wonderful way to live a wonderful way to spend a lifetime.” – Marilyn Clement, June 7, 2003

Marilyn Clement, founder and National Coordinator of Healthcare-NOW!, passed away on Monday, August 3 surrounded by her children, Scott and Pam, her daughter-in-law Liz, and the caring thoughts of all of us who knew her, worked with her, and had come to love her.

Marilyn’s life and work was dedicated to social justice. She worked tirelessly to build, speak, and spread the word about meaningful civil rights and healthcare reform. Her leadership, vision, and passion helped to strengthen the recognition of healthcare as a human right throughout the nation.

Marilyn led a rich, decades-long career in social justice activism, including civil rights, women’s rights, human rights, and peace. She worked with and through a variety of organizations, including the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, the Center for Constitutional Rights, the United Methodist Church, and the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization, among other organizations. Marilyn served as the National Coordinator for Healthcare-NOW until her death. Doctors diagnosed her with multiple myeloma in June of 2008, and Marilyn had to step back from her leadership role at Healthcare-NOW to undergo extensive and painful treatments. A tribute to her organizing skills, a group of nine committed activists responded to her call, and stepped up to form a Steering Committee to assume leadership during her illness.

At the June 7, 2009 event at Judson Memorial Church, Marilyn’s consistent optimism rang loud and clear as she remarked to the crowd, “We are on the verge of winning something that is so desperately needed for all of our people… Love to all of you. Keep up the fight… And we are going to win single-payer healthcare.”

Healthcare-NOW! recognizes the great loss to everyone in the single-payer healthcare and human rights communities that Marilyn’s passing represents. Our resolve to continue and strengthen the movement she started is stronger than ever. As we mourn her loss, we also celebrate the amazing gifts she has given to us all.

Marilyn is survived by her brother, Les Boydstun; her children Pam and Scott; her daughter-in-law Liz Arwine, widow of her deceased son Mark; and three grandchildren Kendall, Chelsea and Alex. Following Marilyns wishes, the family is planning a memorial service to be held at Judson Church on Washington Square later this fall. We will provide details when they are available.

The family suggests that those who wish to donate in Marilyn’s memory should do so to the Center for Constitutional Rights or to Healthcare-NOW!

A more detailed statement on her life with comments from those who knew her can be found here.

Thanks for all that you do,
Healthcare-NOW! National Staff

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