Bettendorf resident Karen Metcalf has been named “Volunteer of the Year” for her advocacy for health care reform. The honor comes from the Campaign for Better Health Care, or CBHC, a grassroots coalition based in Illinois.

Metcalf is active in the Progressive Action for the Common Good, based in the Quad Cities. She won the award based on “countless hours to advocate for health care reform,” according to the CBHC.

Metcalf is scheduled to receive the honor today in Chicago.

“Her willingness to go above and beyond for this cause is inspiring, and recognition of her work is long overdue,” said Laura Leon, director of faith initiatives for the CBHC.

Metcalf said that health care is “the cause of my life.” Metcalf became interested in the topic in 1994, after she and her husband, a doctor, lived in England and Canada. Both countries have national health systems. Her activism intensified in 2004 when she learned that up to 18,000 Americans a year died annually because they lacked health insurance and didn't get timely health care.

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