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Newly Reactivated Health Economics Research Institute to Launch New Initiatives for Improving Health Care Delivery

NORTHBROOK, Ill., Jan. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With national health care reform a top priority of the 2008 Election debates, and with a plethora of reform proposals swirling about Washington, D.C., and around the country, the newly revamped Health Economics Research Institute (HERI) is stepping up its efforts to identify and launch new initiatives and activities that can measurably improve U.S. health care delivery systems.

With health care reform a central feature of President-Elect Barack Obama's transitional policy planning, and with expanded health insurance coverage for millions of Americans an expected top priority, HERI recognizes the urgent need to offer -- then advocate for -- high-value health care initiatives that can be viably funded and that can stimulate continued medical innovation.

"HERI seeks to advance the cause of improving health care delivery systems, with an emphasis on market-based public policy solutions with limited government responsibility, through research, sponsoring seminars, coalition building, and other means consistent with the mission," said Nancy MacRae, chief executive officer.

Lee Stillwell, HERI's chair, said, "Presently, HERI is reaching out to other private-sector groups -- including companies, associations, foundations, academic institutions, think tanks, and other health economics experts - to enlist their help in identifying and advocating 'best-performing' solutions to improve health care delivery.

"Unquestionably, for us, the bottom line is value to patients," he noted. "Eventually, as a fully realized think tank, HERI intends to play a 'convener' role in recruiting and working with private-sector organizations sharing similar objectives.

"The impetus toward short-term health care fixes rather than long-term solutions must be resisted," Stillwell added. "Private-sector research and innovation must not be negatively impacted. It would be a mistake to sacrifice tomorrow's cost-reducing medical breakthroughs for today's cost concerns. The upcoming legislative debate's outcome must not put politics before patients," he stressed.

HERI is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization under the provisions of Section 501-C(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and registered in the State of Delaware. HERI was created in 1996 by Atlas Economic Research Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that, since 1981, has been the leading international organization for supporting independent think tanks that assist intellectual entrepreneurs in advancing market-based freedoms.

The HERI Board of Directors comprises:

Nancy MacRae -- Chief Executive Officer

Northbrook, Ill.

25 years of experience in not-for-profit management, most recently with the American Medical Association as Vice President, Advocacy Operations.

Lee Stillwell -- Chair

Bethesda, Md.

Over three decades of combined experience in journalism, government and national advocacy, including 18 years as the American Medical Association's chief lobbyist (Senior Vice President, Advocacy), and most recently The Stillwell Group's President.

Ross Rubin, JD -- Secretary-Treasurer

Glencoe, Ill.

35 years of combined experience in government and national advocacy, most recently with the American Medical Association as Vice President, Legislative Affairs.

Alejandro (Alex) Chafuen

Arlington, Va.

An economics Ph.D. and expert in non-profit management who has served as President of the Atlas Economic Research Foundation since 1990.

Greg Walcher

Alexandria, Va.

30 years of combined experience in business, government, politics, not-for-profit management and national advocacy, including five years as the Colorado Department of Natural Resources' Executive Director and 10 years as CLUB 20's President and Chief Executive Officer.

Mary Jo Malone

Chicago, Ill.

24 years of experience in not-for-profit management, including 19 years with the American Medical Association as Vice President, Private Sector Advocacy, and currently Physician's Advocacy Institute's Executive Vice President & Chief Executive Officer.

Linn Weiss

Glenview, Ill.

Over three decades of combined experience in the corporate and association sectors (journalism, communications, public policy and national advocacy), chiefly at General Electric and Schering-Plough, then six years as the American Medical Association's Senior Vice President, Communications & Core Identity, and most recently head of Weiss Communications.

SOURCE Health Economics Research Institute
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