Christina Poole is the mother of two children, 2 year-old Oliver, who is adventurous, intelligent, and curious, and 7 month-old Norah, who is laid back, loving, and already has a sense of humor. Christina’s greatest wish is to give her kids a foundation for having a successful, fulfilling life. Like many moms, Christina wants her children to concentrate on their education. She is proud that at Oliver’s young age, he already knows his ABCs and his numbers and enjoys books.
Christina understands that staying healthy is key to having a brighter future. Growing up, her family often did not have health insurance, so they rarely went to the doctor. When they were sick they just had to suffer through it, unless their illness required a visit to the emergency room. Christina says that as a child, she did not always get preventive care and she still struggles with health problems that could have been prevented.
Christina is grateful that thanks to the state’s Medicaid program, TennCare, she and her family have the security and support they need for a healthy future. Last fall, Christina received a complex packet from TennCare to prove that the children remain eligible. Like many others, she found the paperwork overwhelming but was determined to protect her children’s coverage. Christina called Tennessee Justice Center, where a client advocate helped her navigate the renewal process, and the state agreed to continue covering the kids. Any parent can identify with her fear that her children might not be able to get medical care, but Christina was especially terrified because of her own childhood experience. She is so grateful for Medicaid.
Congress has just given Christina a new worry by tacking massive Medicaid cuts onto the bill that will repeal Obamacare. She worries what will happen to Norah and Oliver and children of other mothers who face similar challenges. She does not want any other children to have to go without health care they need growing up like she did.
When asked how she feels about being named one of TJC’s Mothers of the Year, Christina said she is shocked and really grateful to be acknowledged. She spends most of her time mothering and puts her all into nurturing her children. TJC is proud to honor Christina as a Mother of the Year. Her courage and dedication as a single mom making sure that her children have access to the health insurance she often did not have as a child is inspiring, and her love and dedication towards her children embody the qualities we celebrate on Mother’s Day. TJC is honored to name Christina Poole as a 2017 “Mother of the Year.”