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Health Care and Community Leaders Discuss the Impact of Health Care Reform in Pennsylvania

PITTSBURGH, Oct. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Dan Onorato, along with physicians, nurses, patients, political leaders and those interested in health care reform will participate in a free public event on Wednesday, October 20, 2010, to discuss the impact health care reform will have on the health care industry, cardiovascular care and the patient experience.  The event, titled "What Healthcare Reform Means for You," will take place at the Magovern Conference Center of Allegheny General Hospital from 7 a.m. to noon and is being offered by the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI), the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association (PCNA) and WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease.

Mr. Onorato will deliver the program's keynote speech, titled, "The Impact of Health Reform on PA Residents, Business and Health Care Providers," and attendees will hear patient testimonials and presentations from physicians, nurses, hospital executives and health care industry leaders.  

Media may register for the event by contacting Kathy Boyd David at or Dan Laurent at  Members of the public interested in more information or in attending the free event may register at or call 800-992-7224. A complimentary breakfast will be served prior to the program. Policymakers, insurance providers, the general public, patients and their caregivers, health care providers, hospital administrators and all those interested in hearing more about health care reform are encouraged to attend.

The effects of health care reform on the average person may seem subtle now, but the passage of the health care reform bill is expected to impact the health care industry greatly in the coming years. Some of these changes include the number of Americans who will qualify for and be covered by health insurance, the kind of procedures that will be covered by insurance, and an industry-wide shift toward a more technology-based patient tracking system using electronic health records and online databases.

Many Americans remain confused, conflicted and uninformed about what health care reform means and how it will affect their care experience. A Kaiser Family Foundation Poll released in September 2010 shows 53 percent of Americans are confused about what the health care reform law really means.

"Our goal for this educational session is to have a robust discussion among health care professionals, health care executives and the general public, and help to clarify some of the basic changes that will occur with health care reform," said Program Director Tony G. Farah, M.D., FSCAI, FACC, chief medical officer, Allegheny General Hospital. "Everyone – from patients and the public to physicians and nurses – must continue to take an active role in knowing and understanding how health reform will impact care. This program will be an excellent opportunity to learn more and engage with health care leaders across the health care spectrum."  

"What Healthcare Reform Means for You" will feature a variety of engaging speakers from various sectors of the health care industry, including:

  • Dan Onorato, 2010 Pennsylvania Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate, Chief Executive of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania Republican Gubernatorial Candidate, PA Attorney General Tom Corbett was also invited to participate)
  • Deborah Rice, Executive Vice President of Health Services, Highmark Inc.
  • Patient representative
  • Barbara Johnston Fletcher, RN, MSN, FAAN, FPCNA, Clinical Associate Professor in the School of Nursing, University of North Florida
  • Christopher Olivia, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer, West Penn Allegheny Health System
  • Tony Farah, M.D., FSCAI, Chief Medical Officer, Allegheny General Hospital

"We are excited to bring together such a well-rounded group of speakers to discuss the impact that health care reform will have on the people of Pennsylvania as well as the health care industry as a whole," said Program Co-director Barbara Johnston Fletcher, RN, MSN, FAAN, FPCNA, Clinical Associate Professor in the School of Nursing, University of North Florida. "The speakers and attendees will have an opportunity to discuss the impact health reform will have on their lives, and this will make for a very informative and interesting event."

About SCAI's 'Know What Counts' Events

"What Healthcare Reform Means to You" is part of a regional series called "Know What Counts" designed by SCAI specifically to provide patients and health care providers with up-to-date education on the latest advances in the treatment of patients with CVD and overall best patient care. The programs provide an engaging environment in which attendees can interact and discuss topics related to the care of patients with cardiovascular disease.

SCAI has undertaken this education initiative with its own resources as well as commercial funding and support from Abbott Vascular and Medtronic CardioVascular.

About SCAI

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions is a 4,000-member professional organization representing invasive and interventional cardiologists in more than 70 nations. SCAI's mission is to promote excellence in invasive and interventional cardiovascular medicine through physician education and representation, and advancement of quality standards to enhance patient care. SCAI's annual meeting has become the leading venue for education, discussion, and debate about the latest developments in this dynamic medical specialty. SCAI's patient and physician education program, Seconds Count, offers comprehensive information about cardiovascular disease. For more information about SCAI and Seconds Count, visit or

About the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association

The Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association (PCNA) is the leading nursing organization dedicated to preventing cardiovascular disease (CVD) through assessing risk, facilitating lifestyle changes, and guiding individuals to achieve treatment goals. The mission of PCNA is to promote nurses as leaders in the prevention and management of cardiovascular disease. PCNA does this by educating and supporting nurses through the development of professional and patient education, leadership, and advocacy. For more information, call 1-608-250-2440 or visit

About WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease

WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease is the nation's only patient-centered organization serving the 42 million American women living with or at risk for heart disease – the number one killer of women. WomenHeart is solely devoted to advancing women's heart health through advocacy, community education, and the nation's only patient support network for women living with heart disease. WomenHeart is both a coalition and a community of thousands of members nationwide, including women heart patients and their families, physicians, and health advocates, all committed to helping women live longer, healthier lives. For more information and to get a free heart health action kit, visit

Copyright©2010 PR Newswire.
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