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Citizens' Health Care Working Group

Health Care that Works for All Americans

Citizens' Health Care Working Group Health Care that Works for All Americans Home Page

It's Up To You

What's next in the national discussion about our health care? This is your chance to be part of an important debate. Use the resources of this web site to learn about our health care system.

What happens next, depends on you.

CONTACT: C. Chic Smith
301-443-1592 office / 202-689-4885 cell
Email: / Web site:



Citizens' recommendations to be considered by Congress, White House


Washington, D.C. – The University of Michigan will host an online town hall meeting entitled, “What Is Your Health Worth? A National Conversation on Health Care”. This live web cast will take place Wednesday, March 22, 2006, from 7 pm to 9 pm (Eastern time). The Big 10, in cooperation with twenty-two universities and schools of public health, will hold local meetings and participate in the video hook-up to the web cast. Members of the community are invited to local meetings and everyone, nationwide, can participate in a variety of other ways. This web cast is one of more than thirty community meetings, sponsored by the Citizens’ Health Care Working Group, being held nationwide to engage citizens in a dialogue on the health care system in America.

The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, will transmit the proceedings from the Gerald R. Ford Library and Museum, on the University of Michigan’s North Campus, to simultaneous public meetings at 22 campuses around the country. Panelists will respond to questions and comments from the participating schools.

The web cast virtual town hall meeting will feature a multimedia presentation that provides information on the nation’s health care system, including problems related to cost, quality, and access to care. This will be followed by more focused discussions. Participants will share their ideas about how to improve the health care system. “A primary goal of the Working Group is to engage the public in an informed dialogue,” stated Catherine McLaughlin, Director of the University of Michigan’s Economic Research Initiative on the Uninsured, and a member of the Citizens’ Health Care Working Group.

Panelists include:

  • Mary Sue Coleman, President of the University of Michigan. Coleman co-chaired the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on the Consequences of Uninsurance.
  • Patricia Maryland, President of St. Vincent Hospitals and Health Services Inc. in central Indiana, and a member of the Working Group.
  • Catherine McLaughlin, Professor, Department of Health Management and Policy at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, and Director of the Economic Research Initiative on the Uninsured. McLaughlin is a member of the Citizens’ Health Care Working Group.
  • Deborah Stehr, a member of the Working Group, who is a full-time care-giver for her adult son, Jonathan, who has cerebral palsy.
  • Kenneth Warner, Dean of the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

“We hope that all citizens across the country will find this virtual town hall meeting a terrific opportunity to find out about the big issues in health care today, begin to discuss their own concerns with one another and will go online to let the Citizens’ Health Care Working Group know what they would like changed in order to make a health care system that works for all Americans,” said George Grob, Executive Director to the Working Group.

Americans are invited to participate in several different ways:

  1. Attend a session at one of more than twenty schools holding meetings that will participate directly in the live exchange during the web cast (see the attached list).
  2. Watch the live web cast on March 22 at
  3. Continue the online dialogue – The web cast kicks off two weeks of online discussions (from March 22 through April 5) about health care. Americans may add their voices to the debate by sharing their comments on the online Discussion Forums or by starting their own Citizen’s Blogs at, under “Communicate.”
  4. Go to the Public Comment Center at and answer questions about the health care system and what matters to you.

The Working Group, a nonpartisan group authorized by the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003, is charged with listening to the views of the American people and developing recommendations for the President and Congress to provide U.S. citizens with “Health Care that Works for All Americans.” The Health Report to the American People was released in October and serves as a basis to engage the American people in a dialogue on health care access, cost and quality issues. The Working Group consists of 15 members -- 14 citizens of diverse backgrounds from across the country, and the Secretary of Health and Human Services.


University Participants in Virtual Town Meeting


Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts.

  • Contact: Debbie Socolar at or 617 638-5087

Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

  • Contact: John Rich at or 215-762-1239

Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.

  • Contact: Brad Herring at or 404-727-3738

George Washington Univ., Washington DC, .

  • Contact: Josef Reum at

Indiana University, Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Contact: Carole Kacius at or 317-274-3126

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland.

  • Contact: Tom Oliver at or 410-614-5967

Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

  • Contact: Robert Marier at or 504-415-7926

Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan.

  • Contact: Denise Holmes at or 517-432-9807

Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinios.

  • Contact: Kevin Weiss at or 312-695-5100

Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.

  • Contact: Jerry Friedman at or 614-292-7130

Pennsylvania State Univ., Hershey, Pennsylvania.

  • Contact: Michael Weitekamp at or 717-531-8803

Purdue University, West Lafayette , Indiana.

  • Contact: Steve Witz at or 765-496-8303

Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana.

  • Contact: Frances Mather at or 504-988-7329

University at Albany, Albany, New York.

  • Contact: Nancy Persily at or 518-402-0262

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas.

  • Contact: Freeman McKindra at or 501-526-6602

University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinios.

  • Contact: Bob Rich at or 217-244-8550

University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.

  • Contact: Peter Cram at

University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky.

  • Contact: Richard Wilson at or 502-852-3443

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

  • Contact: Catherine McLaughlin at or 734-615-9586

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Minnesota.

  • Contact: Judy Garrard at or 612-625-8772

University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina.

  • Contact: Lee Pearson at or 803-978-7573

University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin.

  • Contact: Donna Friedsam at or 608-263-4881