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Health Care Reform and Chronic Disease
Date:7/2/2009

BALTIMORE, July 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In response to Congress' debate on health care reform, state and local leaders from Maryland joined together at the Baltimore Medical System at Saint Agnes Hospital Community Care Center to call for comprehensive reforms to address the growing crisis of chronic disease in Maryland and nationwide. The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) is a coalition committed to making chronic disease prevention and management a major part of comprehensive health reform.

The Maryland chapter of PFCD has 41 state partners and a distinguished panel of co-chairs in attendance today: former Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Sharon D. Allison-Ottey, M.D., Executive Director, The COSHAR Foundation, and Miguel McInnis, M.P.H., Chief Executive Officer, Mid-Atlantic Association of Community Health Centers

"The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease's broad coalition of national and state partners believes it is impossible to contain rising health care costs -- and tackle other issues of coverage and quality -- without addressing chronic disease," said Dr. Allison-Ottey.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), chronic diseases are responsible for seven out of every 10 deaths in the United States -- taking the lives of more than 1.7 million Americans every year. Chronic diseases are also the primary driver of health care costs, accounting for more than 75 percent of the more than $2 trillion dollars spent each year on health care in the United States.

"We are in crisis. The cost of chronic disease is unsustainable. Our health care system is not making us healthy, and we have to change. We need to exercise, eat well, and get regular check ups," said former Lieutenant Governor Townsend.

The financial burden in Maryland of chronic disease is tremendous. A study by the Milken Institute lo
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SOURCE Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease
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