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Published: Saturday, 7/8/2006

Cleveland man hikes for access to health care

Dave Pavlick leads the way as Johnathon Ross follows along Walbridge Road as the pair heads toward Northwood. Dave Pavlick leads the way as Johnathon Ross follows along Walbridge Road as the pair heads toward Northwood.
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Millions of people in Ohio are without health-care coverage, and Dave Pavlick is walking across the state to try to change that.

Mr. Pavlick's month-long quest includes stopping at nine cities to raise awareness of the nation's health-care crisis.

The 53-year-old Clevelander arrived at the Plumbers and Steam Fitters Local 50 union hall in Northwood yesterday evening and will continue on to Bowling Green today.

"To live in a country as great as ours and know everyone can have access to health care and the fact that they don't is just wrong," he said yesterday while walking on State Rt. 51 toward Walbridge on his way to Toledo. "We can't let people keep suffering like this."

Mr. Pavlick is an activist with the Single-Payer Action Network, a group seeking health- care reform with 15 chapters throughout Ohio.

The organization drafted the Health Care for All Ohioans Act, a bill that would guarantee health care for everyone in the state, Mr. Pavlick said.

Before the state legislatures can consider passing the bill, 97,000 signatures have to be collected, which is 3 percent of the people who voted in the last gubernatorial election. Mr. Pavlick said the group has collected more than 52,000 signatures.

Dr. Johnathon Ross, who works at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center's outpatient center, joined Mr. Pavlick yesterday during his more than 30-mile journey from Fremont to the union hall in Northwood.

Dr. Ross said he treats the very people for whom he and Mr. Pavlick are walking.

"I see people who are sick and who don't have access to the care they need," he said. "We have the best doctors, the best hospitals, the best nurses, the best technology, and the worst health-care system in the industrialized world."

Mr. Pavlick estimated he had walked about 600 miles during his 23-day journey, averaging about 20 to 30 miles each day.

From Bowling Green, Mr. Pavlick will walk to Findlay and is expected to arrive in Lima on Monday. He then will head to Dayton and Cincinnati, and from there walk to Columbus and Akron.



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