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Linda Ellerbee to Present Keynote at URAC's Best Practices in Consumer Empowerment and Protection Awards Program

Journalist, author, television producer and breast cancer survivor will share her story at Best Practices Conference and Exhibit March 25-26, 2008

WASHINGTON, Feb. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- When Linda Ellerbee talks about health care, it's personal.

The individuality and humanity--the personhood--of every patient that attempts to navigate the nation's health care labyrinth is a message Ellerbee will deliver to the nation's leading health care management executives March 25. The veteran journalist, best-selling author, television producer and breast cancer survivor will give the keynote speech at URAC's Best Practices in Consumer Empowerment and Protection Conference and Exhibit at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel in Orlando.

The first-of-its-kind conference will spotlight winning entries in the Best Practices Awards competition. Winners of the competition represent the nation's top programs in health care management, pharmacy benefit management, health plans and health information technology. The competition is an effort to advance best practices as it spotlights programs that are consumer-focused and that promote patient safety.

"URAC has intensified its focus on consumer empowerment and patient safety in its accreditation standards, and this conference is a stellar platform for health care management organizations to see how the best of the best are bringing safer, better quality care to their members," said Alan P. Spielman, URAC's president and CEO. "Linda Ellerbee's personal story, presented with her trademark wit, spirit and enthusiasm, will underscore the reasons we pursue this path."

For Ellerbee, the setting is ripe to remind leaders of health care management companies that patients battling a disease often feel like a cog in the health care machine instead of the person empowered to drive the process.

"If there's one thing that gets forgotten in health care, it is who owns the disease," Ellerbee said. "It's not the health plan, the doctors or nurses. It's not your family or friends. The patient owns the disease. That's the key to making every part of our health care system work."

After an illustrious television news career at CBS and NBC, Ellerbee and her partner began their own production company. Lucky Duck Productions is best known for its children's news program, Nick News for Nickelodeon. Nick News is watched by more children than all other television news shows combined.

Ellerbee will present "Empowering the Health Care Consumer: A Patient's Experience," Tuesday, March 25 from 1:30 to 3 p.m. To register for the Best Practices in Consumer Empowerment and Protection Conference and Exhibit, go to

About URAC

URAC, an independent, nonprofit organization, is well-known as a leader in promoting health care quality through its accreditation and education programs. URAC offers a wide range of quality benchmarking programs and services that keep pace with the rapid changes in the health care system, and provide a symbol of excellence for organizations to validate their commitment to quality and accountability. Through its broad-based governance structure and an inclusive standards development process, URAC ensures that all stakeholders are represented in establishing meaningful quality measures for the entire health care industry. For more information, visit

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