WPHF is Local Host of Citizen’s Health Care Meeting

Winter Park Health Foundation (WPHF) will be the local host of one of the first in a series of nationwide meetings scheduled by The Citizen’s Health Care Working Group to get input from the public on how to make health care work for everyone.

The event will be from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. January 24 in the Garden House at Leu Gardens in Orlando.

The task of the Working Group, created by the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003, is to listen to the health care concerns and suggestions of consumers from around the country and then develop recommendations for the U.S. President and Congress.  The group has 15 members—14 citizens of diverse backgrounds from across the country, and the Secretary of Health and Human Services. It will hold meetings across the country.

WPHF involvement was recommended by one member of the Working Group, Montye Conlan of Ormond Beach who was familiar with the Foundation’s public education efforts because of its publication of Medicaid Reform policy briefs. Ms. Conlan, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis six years ago and now is eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare coverage, serves as the “consumer” representative on the Working Group.

The Foundation, which has as its mission “to make a positive difference in people’s lives by creating the healthiest community in the U.S.,” and which has Access to Health Care as one of its key focus areas, felt serving as the local host to the meeting made good sense, according to Dr. Jay Hughes, WPHF trustee and chairman of the WPHF Access to Health Care Work Group.

“This provides our local residents a voice in determining the future direction of the health of the country,” said Dr. Hughes. “It is a chance to speak and be heard,” he said.

The community meeting is open to the public, but registration is required. Online registration is available at www.citizenshealthcare.gov

Meeting participants will share ideas on the best ways to improve the health care system.  “The Health Report to the American People,” which was released in October, is meant to serve as the basis for the discussion when it comes to talking about health care access, cost and quality issues. (To view a copy of the report, go to http://www.citizenshealthcare.gov/healthreport/healthreport.php)

To find out more about the meeting, contact Lisa Portelli, Program Director—Access to Health Care at the Winter Park Health Foundation.  407-644-2300.