Forum on Healthcare Reform Begins Today

Thursday, April 9, 2009

In celebration of National Public Health Week (April 6-12), the UNC Charlotte Department of Public Health Sciences along with the Graduate Public Health Association, the (undergraduate) Public Health Association, and Health Care for America Now!, is sponsoring a public Forum on Healthcare Reform: Perspectives from the Community. The forum will be held Thursday, April 9, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m., in the College of Health and Human Services, Room 155.

The National Public Health Week theme, “Building the Foundation for a Healthy America,” emphasizes the development and strengthening of a comprehensive public heath/primary care system that serves the needs of all Americans. The present crisis presents a unique opportunity for rethinking America’s approach to promoting health and organizing, financing, and delivering healthcare services. The forum will seek to address why the United States spends more per capita than any other nation, yet have substantially short life expectancies, higher infant mortality, and greater health disparities. The reasons are complex and opinions span the philosophical divide that views health as a commodity or a human right.

The forum features case-study presentations by community organizations serving those most affected by our current healthcare system followed by an open discussion.

Members of North Carolina’s Congressional Delegation serving the Charlotte region (Senators Hagan and Burr and Representatives Kissell, Myrick, and Watt) have been invited to participate.

Congress will address the healthcare reform agenda after their Easter recess.

Community organizations represented will include Charlotte Community Health Clinic, Community Health Services, and the CW Williams Community Health Center.

Michael Thompson, Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the UNC Charlotte Master of Science in Public Health Program and Meredith King Ledford, MPP, a health policy consultant, will moderate.

About the Department of Public Health Sciences

The Department of Public Health Sciences responds to the needs of the region by engaging in interdisciplinary education and research programs that focus on public health outcomes from a social ecological perspective. Committed to academic excellence, the new public health baccalaureate program (BSPH) and the master’s degree program (MSPH) were assessed by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) in November 2008. The Master of Health Administration (MHA) degree program received its initial accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) in November 2007.

For more information, contact Michael E. Thompson at

or 704.687.8742, or visit

Media contact:  Buffie Stephens, 704.687.5830,