Morna Murray (Former Staff) Senior Vice President for Health and Disabilities

Morna A. Murray, J.D., is Senior Vice President for Health and Disabilities for First Focus. She has spent nearly 25 years working in public policy and advocacy in the private sector, state government, and on Capitol Hill.

Morna recently returned to First Focus after serving as Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Developmental Services, and a member of Governor Dannel Malloy’s cabinet. In that position, she oversaw and implemented all state services for children and adults with disabilities throughout Connecticut. She focused on making services more available and accessible through agency reorganization, budgetary changes, and expansion of Medicaid waiver services; she also prioritized the involvement of self-advocates and families in agency programs and policy.

Morna previously served as Vice President and Counsel for First Focus. Prior to that, she was Senior Counsel to Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-PA), heading up all healthcare and children’s issues. She was Senator Casey’s lead staff member during the development and passage of the Affordable Care Act, and developed key legislative proposals and initiatives. Morna also served as Director of Youth Development for the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), where she led an initiative that focused on comprehensive best practices and programs across the country addressing disparities affecting vulnerable families and children from birth through young adulthood.

Morna is a leading advocate for children and families and has authored numerous articles. She has a lifelong passion and commitment to working for the needs of children, families, and people with disabilities. A graduate of the George Washington University Law School, she is a member of the Connecticut, District of Columbia, and Florida Bars. She lives in Virginia and has two adult children.

Resources by Morna Murray

Why Medicaid Matters: Adopting a Child With Special Health Care Needs

| April 25, 2018 |

In a continuing series on the personal impact that recent legislative and administrative proposals to restructure or severely reduce Medicaid health care will have

The Serious Danger of Administrative Attacks Upon Medicaid

| April 17, 2018 |

While 2017 saw multiple legislative assaults upon the Affordable Care Act, and long-standing health care for highly vulnerable people through the Medicaid Program, these

It Hasn’t Been Enough. But it Could Be.

| February 16, 2018 |

Enough with the same responses we get every single time there is a shooting and our children die. On December 14, 2012, 22 beautiful

Why Medicaid Matters: Katie Beckett Waivers for Children with Special Health Care Needs

| January 30, 2018 |

Beginning in 2017, there has been an unprecedented assault on Medicaid, the health care program for the most vulnerable Americans, including low-income children and

Work Requirements for Medicaid: Bad for Kids

| January 24, 2018 |

Tying “work requirements” to Medicaid eligibility, a dramatic and ideological departure from Medicaid policy, has now been requested by 11 states (AZ, AR, IN,

Calling All States – Take Action and #ExtendCHIP

| November 30, 2017 |

How much more information – or urgency – do we need regarding CHIP and its critical importance to 9 million low-income children across our

Early Childhood in the President’s FY 2013 Budget

| February 28, 2012 |

A detailed analysis of President Obama’s federal fiscal year 2013 budget proposal for early childhood. This fact sheet is part of our series analyzing

King Solomon and the Debt Deal

| August 4, 2011 |

Remember the classic Old Testament story that demonstrates the true nature of maternal love – concern for the child, over and above herself? King

Impact of the President’s FY 2012 Budget Request on Early Childhood Programs

| February 21, 2011 |

The president’s commitment to the importance of early learning and development is reflected in proposed funding for programs for children from birth through age