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Pelosi, Democrats Host Health Care Forum This Morning

WASHINGTON, Jan. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Speaker Nancy Pelosi and senior House Democrats hosted a health care forum this morning that brought together national experts in public policy, academia, business, medicine, with key legislators to discuss a vision for the future of our health care system.

"As Americans' concerns grow about a weakening economy and skyrocketing health care costs and loss of coverage, the New Direction Congress is bringing together the leading minds on these issues with the legislators who are prepared to make a difference," said Speaker Pelosi.

The forum is part of an ongoing effort by the 110th Congress to improve the nation's health and health care. It provided an opportunity for members and experts to step back from the day-to-day health care debate and discuss ways to improve our health care system.

Forty-seven million Americans are without health insurance. Furthermore, every American is affected in some way by chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, or heart disease. These issues and many others were addressed at this morning's health care forum, which lasted more than three-and-a-half hours.


In addition to more than a dozen Members of Congress, the following experts attended the forum:

Dr. William Brody, President, Johns Hopkins University

William R. Brody is the President of The Johns Hopkins University. Prior to assuming his position at Hopkins, Dr. Brody has served as the provost of the Academic Health Center at the University of Minnesota, the Martin Donner Professor and director of the Department of Radiology, professor of electrical and computer engineering, and professor of biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins, and radiologist-in-chief of The Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Dr. Carolyn Clancy, Director, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)

Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D., is Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Prior to her appointment, Dr. Clancy had served as AHRQ's Acting Director since March 2002 and previously was Director of the Agency's Center for Outcomes and Effectiveness Research (COER). Dr. Clancy is a general internist and health services researcher. She holds an academic appointment at George Washington University School of Medicine.

Dr. Benjamin Chu, President, Kaiser Permanente Southern California Region

Benjamin Chu, MD, MPH, MACP, is regional President of Kaiser Permanente Southern California in February 2005. Before he joined Kaiser Permanente, Dr. Chu served for as president of New York City's Health and Hospitals Corporation, and possesses extensive health care experience as a clinician, administrator, and policy advocate. He also served as Acting Commissioner of Health for the New York City Department of Health, and has experience as a leader in academic health center.

Dr. Julie Gerberding, Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Dr. Gerberding is the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Administrator for the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. She is an expert in clinical pharmacology and infectious diseases and a national voice for both domestic and global health, with a particular focus on public health and its expanding role in health protection in the 21st century.

Dr. Jane Henney, Professor of Medicine, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine

Dr. Henney was a former Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration and has served in a series of senior health policy leadership positions in the public sector. She has also served as the deputy director of the National Cancer Institute, vice chancellor of health programs at the University of Kansas Medical Center, interim dean of the School of Medicine, the first vice president for health sciences at the University of New Mexico, and Senior Vice President and Provost for Health Affairs University of Cincinnati.

Dr. John Niederhuber, Director, National Cancer Institute (NCI)

John E. Niederhuber, M.D., is the Director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). He was formerly the Wattawa Professor-Bascom in Cancer Research, Professor of Surgery and Oncology at the University Of Wisconsin School Of Medicine. Dr. Niederhuber served the University of Wisconsin as the Director of the University of Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Center. He came to the University of Wisconsin in 1997 from Stanford University where he had served as Chair of the Department of Surgery.

Dr. Jody Pettit, Health IT Coordinator, Office for Oregon Health Policy & Research

Dr. Pettit is the Health Information Technology Coordinator and serves at the Project Director for the Oregon Health Information Security & Privacy Collaboration. Dr. Pettit has been actively involved in health information development projects including serving as the director of the Oregon Health Information Infrastructure project for the Oregon Healthcare Quality Corporation, chair of the State of Oregon Health Policy Commission's Electronic Health Records and Healthcare Connectivity Subcommittee, and chair of the Chronic Disease Data Clearinghouse Steering Committee.

Gladys Sandlin, Mission Neighborhood Health Center, San Francisco

Gladys Sandlin is the Executive Director of the Mission Neighborhood Health Center in San Francisco. Before assuming the directorship, Ms. Sandlin was Social Service Director and Public Relations Coordinator for Mission Neighborhood Health Center. In 1980, she was appointed to the San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women by Major Dianne Feinstein.

William Spriggs, Department of Economics, Howard University

Mr. Spriggs is the Chair of the Department of Economics at Howard University. From 1988 to 2004, he was Executive Director of the National Urban League's Institute for Opportunity and Equality. In 2004, Mr. Spriggs was awarded the Congressional Black Caucus Chairman's Award. Under President Clinton, he led the staff of the National Commission for Employment Policy (1993-1994) and worked at the Department of Commerce and the Small Business Administration.

Mark Vachon, President and CEO of Global Diagnostic Imaging (a division of GE)

Mark Vachon is President and CEO of Global Diagnostic Imaging at GE Healthcare. Prior to assuming the role of President, Mr. Vachon was Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer at GE Healthcare, and began his GE career in 1982 as a member of the Financial Management Program in Schenectady, New York.

Dr. Elias Zerhouni, Director, NIH

NIH Director, Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D., leads the nation's medical research agency and oversees the NIH's 27 Institutes and Centers with more than 18,000 employees and a fiscal year 2007 budget of $29 billion. Dr. Zerhouni is a world renowned leader in the field of radiology and medicine. Prior to joining the NIH, Dr. Zerhouni served as executive vice-dean of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, chair of the Russell H. Morgan department of radiology and radiological science, Martin Donner professor of radiology, and professor of biomedical engineering and Vice Dean for research at Johns Hopkins.

SOURCE Office of the Speaker of the House
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