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URAC Reveals Distinguished Judges' Panel for 2009 Best Practices in Health Care Consumer Empowerment and Protection Awards

Awards will recognize best practices in consumer decision-making and consumer health improvement across the health care management spectrum

WASHINGTON, Aug. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- URAC announced that more than thirty of the nation's foremost thought leaders in health care management will judge entries for its 2009 Best Practices in Health Care Consumer Empowerment and Protection Awards. The Best Practices awards recognize innovative and proven programs from health information/decision support, health management, health plans, health networks, pharmacy quality management and workers' compensation companies.

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URAC's Best Practices Awards were created to extend the organization's educational mission by shining a spotlight on proven best practices within the health care management industry. The top programs will be designated URAC Best Practices award winners and will be honored during the 2009 Best Practices in Health Care Consumer Empowerment and Protection Conference & Exhibit, April 1-2, 2009 in Orlando.

"Last year we inaugurated the Best Practices Awards and Conference to tap into and share the innovative practices that are transforming health care management," said Alan P. Spielman, URAC's president and chief executive officer. "Our judges' panel will again be representative of the best and the most widely recognized experts in program evaluation, care coordination, health information technology, employer and purchaser decision making and patient safety."

Chairing the panel is epidemiologist Thomas W. Wilson, Ph.D, DrPH, Trajectory HealthCare, LLC. Other eminent panelists include:

-- Patricia Adams, vice president of business operations & external affairs, National Pharmaceutical Council;

-- Jeanne Boling, MSN, consultant and former president, Case Management Society of America;

-- Helen Burstin, MD, MPH, senior vice president for performance measures, National Quality Forum;

-- William Braithwaite, MD, Ph.D, FACMI, health information policy consultant and HIPAA authority;

-- Judith A. Cahill, executive director, Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy;

-- Connie Commander, RN-BC, BS, CCM, owner and president of Commander Premier Consulting Corp.;

-- Dee W. Edington, Ph.D, director of the University of Michigan Health Management Research Center and professor of movement science;

-- Mark Frisse, MD, MBA, MSc, professor of biomedical informatics at Vanderbilt University and director of regional informatics programs, Vanderbilt Center for Better Health;

-- Dawn Geren, healthcare manager, UPS;

-- Jack Hoadley, Ph.D, research professor, Health Policy Institute at Georgetown University;

-- Peter R. Kongstvedt, MD, FACP, independent advisory professional , P.R. Kongstvedt Company, LLC;

-- H. Stephen Lieber, CAE, president and CEO, Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society;

-- Edison A. Machado, Jr., MD, MBA, medical director and programs manager, Bridges to Excellence;

-- Mary Madison, MPA, vice president and director, Foundation on Research and Education/AHIMA;

-- Mary Meeker, benefits specialist, American Foundation of State, County and Municipal Employees;

-- Tracey Moorhead, president and CEO, DMAA: The Care Continuum Alliance;

-- David B. Nash, MD, MBA, professor and chairman of the Department of Health Policy, Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University;

-- Susan V. Penfield, vice president, Booz Allen Hamilton;

-- Laurel Pickering, MPH, executive director, New York Business Group on Health;

-- Michael Pine, MD, president and founder, Michael Pine and Associates;

-- Bob Queyrouze, CCP, CEBS, SPHR, internal human resources consultant, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas;

-- Patricia Salber, MD, MBA, senior vice president and chief medical officer, Universal American Corporation;

-- Joshua Seidman, Ph.D, president, Center for Information Therapy;

-- Bruce Sherman, MD, director, health and productivity initiatives, Employers Health Purchasing Corporation of Ohio;

-- Michael J. Thompson, FSA, MAAA, principal, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC;

-- Deborah Unger, RN, clinical director, State Employees' Insurance Board;

-- Dennis White, senior vice president, value-based purchasing, National Business Coalition on Health;

-- Susan K. Willette, national practice leader for Health and Productivity Management, Mercer Health & Benefits.

-- Christine G. Williams, M.Ed, director for strategic partnerships, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

The deadline for entries to this awards competition is Sept. 15, 2008, and entry is not limited to URAC-accredited organizations. The Call for Entries is available at .

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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