Dr. Matt Longjohn is running for Congress to improve the health and quality of life for everyone in Southwest Michigan.
As a doctor and former National Health Officer for YMCA, Matt is uniquely qualified to deliver solutions that will improve access to affordable, quality health care. He will be a powerful voice against the plans by Washington politicians and special interests to force middle class families to pay more for less care, cause millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions to lose coverage and gut long-term care for seniors.
Matt’s commitment to public service is grounded in his deep ties to Southwest Michigan and growing up in a tight-knit middle-class community. His family’s roots in Southwest Michigan go back to the Civil War, and he is a proud graduate of Portage Northern and Kalamazoo College.
When Matt was born, his father worked as a janitor and his mother was a gym teacher. Like many families, they often had to make tough choices when sticking to a family budget. His parents taught Matt and his sister the values of hard work, getting a good education and to be involved in their community. These lessons inspired them both to become doctors.
Matt went through medical school as a single dad, taking out large student loans which he is still paying off today 20 years later. In his last year of medical training, he reconnected with his childhood sweetheart, Valerie. They raised their two boys, Till and Max, in Matt’s family’s farmhouse in Vicksburg before moving to Portage in 2010.
Matt has spent his entire career creating and running large community health programs that have improved the lives of millions of children, families and seniors. Most recently, Matt served as the National Health Officer for the YMCA, one of the nation’s oldest and largest charities. He was the first physician leader in the Y’s 170-year history, and ran community health programs to improve health, reduce costs and create jobs. One of these programs reduced new cases of diabetes by up to 71%, and will save Medicare $1.9 billion over 10 years by employing thousands of community health workers to help their neighbors live healthier lives. He and his team supported local community work in Augusta, Benton Harbor, St. Joseph, Kalamazoo, and 250 other cities across the nation, positively impacting 73 million people.
Earlier in his career, Matt led an innovative coalition in Chicago, which helped inform First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign and inspired the creation of Healthy Kids Healthy Michigan.
Matt strongly believes that fighting disease is only part of a doctor’s job. To truly be successful, physicians need to help patients have a high quality of life, which means ensuring people have access to health care, a safe and healthy environment, a good education and the opportunity for jobs that pay a living wage. Matt will take this same comprehensive approach to Congress, where he will fight for affordable health care, clean air and water, strong early childhood programs, public schools, community colleges and good-paying jobs.