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Lt. Gov. Roberts and The Rhode Island Foundation Open Series of Statewide Forums on Improving Rhode Island's Health Care System and Bringing Down Health Care Costs

Best-selling author T.R. Reid inaugurates series of high profile forums: “Making It Work: Health Reform in Rhode Island”

PROVIDENCE— Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts and The Rhode Island Foundation today opened a series of high profile public forums on improving the health care system and bringing down the cost of care in Rhode Island with a discussion with best-selling author, journalist and filmmaker T.R. Reid at the Rhode Island Foundation in Providence.

“We need to be ready to make national health care reform a success here in Rhode Island,” said Lt. Gov. Roberts. “We must begin the hard work of deciding how we redesign the system in a way that best serves Rhode Islanders. In the coming months we will host discussions with nationally prominent experts on the most innovative ideas in health system redesign and cost containment. Through ‘Making It Work: Health Reform in Rhode Island,’ we will work with a diverse group of Rhode Island citizens to define what Rhode Islanders want their health care system to be and how to get it there, while responsibly bringing down the rapidly escalating costs of health care.”

The series of public forums, co-hosted by The Rhode Island Foundation, brings together key stakeholders including business and community leaders, medical providers, insurers, educators, consumer advocates and policy makers, to chart the course for a new, affordable, high quality health care system in Rhode Island.

“With the nation’s healthcare reform debate playing out and the state weighing important choices, Rhode Island will soon be faced with a number of different policy options,” said Rhode Island Foundation President and CEO Neil Steinberg. “Fitting together this complex puzzle will require that we first have a good understanding of the component parts. We are delighted to be partnering with the Office of the Lieutenant Governor on this series.”

The kickoff of the series “Making It Work” featured T.R. Reid, author of nine books including the current bestseller, “The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Care,” which offers a worldwide perspective on health care reform. A former correspondent for the Washington Post, Reid is a frequent commentator on NPR and has written and hosted documentary films for National Geographic TV, the A&E Network and PBS Frontline (“Sick Around the World”).

“Some other countries achieved universal coverage on a state-to-state basis, and I am convinced more and more that this will be the way we will get there in the United States, “ said T.R. Reid. “I am happy to come and talk to people who are interested in better health care for everyone in Rhode Island.”

The Rhode Island Foundation, Rhode Island’s only community foundation, is the largest supporter of nonprofit organizations in the state. The Foundation works to build a better Rhode Island as a philanthropic resource for people, communities, organizations and programs. Through its Fund for a Healthy Rhode Island, the Foundation has made significant investments in improving access to quality primary care for all Rhode Islanders.

Related links

Department or agency: Elizabeth Roberts, Office of the Lieutenant Governor

Online: http://www.ltgov.state.ri.us/

Release date: 10-26-2009

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