NASHVILLE, Tenn., Sept. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Approximately 100 student government leaders, representing more than one million students from universities nationwide, will meet in Nashville Oct. 5-7 to discuss healthcare issues under the banner of SHOUTAmerica, a new non-profit group created to engage young Americans in the debate over healthcare.
The group will convene at the Scarritt-Bennett Center, just blocks from the Oct. 7 presidential debate between Barack Obama and John McCain.
"This year it will cost $2.4 trillion to fund our healthcare system. It's the world's most expensive, but ranks 37th in terms of quality," said Landon Gibbs, 26, executive director and co-founder of SHOUTAmerica. "We need changes that address the rising cost of healthcare -- and we believe young people have to lead that discussion. It's our future at risk."
Conference participants come from 50 different universities, including Harvard, NYU, Columbia, Vanderbilt, Texas and Missouri.
They will meet with U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., and Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel of the National Institutes of Health, former member of President Clinton's Health Care Task Force and author of "Healthcare, Guaranteed: A Simple, Secure Solution for America."
They will have an onsite viewing of the original Declaration of Independence before signing their own Declaration of Commitment to healthcare reform. The group is seeking one million signatures.
"This country can't ignore a million young voices," said Gibbs.
SHOUTAmerica was initiated through a donation from Clayton McWhorter, Chairman of Clayton Associates, former Chairman and CEO of HealthTrust, Inc., former COO of Hospital Corp. of America and a veteran healthcare executive associated with more than 35 healthcare companies throughout his career.
"I'm excited about the energy and fresh ideas these young people bring to the challenge. I am personally committed to helping them find the resources so their voices can be heard," he said
Gibbs noted, "With Clayton's vision and experience, he has infected us with a passion to explore the issues and problems surrounding healthcare in our country."
SHOUTAmerica ( http://www.shoutamerica.com ) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization committed to engaging a new generation of Americans in the debate over the future of healthcare. In an interactive campaign centered on awareness, education and the promotion of dialogue, SHOUTAmerica will enable the voices of young people to be heard in the search for sustainable solutions to the healthcare crisis.
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