AHA, University of Mississippi Co-Host Health Care Seminar

The American Heart Association, in partnership with the University of Mississippi, is convening a panel of top business, government, and health leaders to examine the nation's health care system in preparation for the year's first presidential debate.

The program, "Reinventing Health Care," is slated for 7-9 p.m. Sept. 24 in Fulton Chapel on the Ole Miss campus. The session is one of the signature events leading up to the debate, set for Sept. 26 in the UM Ford Center for the Performing Arts.

"With 45 million uninsured Americans and millions more underinsured in a health care system that has not adequately served the best interests of patients, we cannot wait any longer for change," said Dr. Daniel W. Jones, immediate past president of the American Heart Association and vice chancellor for health affairs of the UM Medical Center. "The association strongly believes that this discussion can provide a framework that will address the challenges facing those who don't have access to quality health care."

The program, produced by Fred Friendly Seminars of Columbia University, focuses on health policy reform in relation to the 2008 presidential election campaign.

Panelists were selected to offer a wide range of viewpoints from different perspectives and industries. Besides Jones, confirmed participants include Bill Novelli, CEO of the American Association of Retired Persons; T.R. Reid, Washington Post journalist; David Walker, CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation and former U.S. Comptroller General; Regina Herzlinger, professor of business administration at Harvard Business School; and Dave Ratner, a small business owner.

Fred Friendly Seminars bring together groups of panelists and involves them in hypothetical scenarios spun by moderators. The results often reveal the complexity of the issues with greater depth and drama than a standard debate.

"We are pleased to host this important discussion of health issues with the American Heart Association," said Robert Khayat, UM chancellor. "This is a matter of critical importance to every American, and we look forward to the insights this program may reveal. By carefully examining all facets of the issue, we can help find solutions that will improve health care for millions of people across our country."

The seminar will be webcast live at www.news.olemiss.edu. For more information on debate-related activities at UM, go to http://debate.olemiss.edu.

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