By Cynthia Michael

As the Affordable Care Act (ACA) moves forward in 2014, there is much to learn and discuss about health care reform. In an effort to begin that dialogue, the Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum will host a fall summit, “Health Care Reform and You: Professional Viewpoints,” on October 31 at the Marriott Hotel in Baton Rouge. This event will provide insight from various stakeholders on the impact of health care reform in Louisiana.

Sheila P. Burke, Senior Public Policy Advisor with Baker Donelson’s Washington, DC, office, will serve as the keynote speaker. In addition to her role at Baker Donelson, Burke serves as a faculty member at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University where she teaches a health policy course and co-directs a public policy simulation exercise. She is also a faculty research fellow at Harvard’s Malcolm Weiner School for Social Policy, a Research Professor at the Public Policy Institute and Distinguished Visitor at the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University. Her distinguished career includes 19 years on Capitol Hill where she served as Deputy Staff Director of the Finance Committee, Chief of Staff to Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, and Secretary of the Senate. In these roles, she was involved with numerous legislative issues including those related to Medicare, Medicaid, Maternal and Child Health programs, welfare reform, budget reconciliation and previous legislative efforts to reform health care.

Burke’s career also includes a seven-year tenure as Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer of the Smithsonian Institution with responsibility for the overall operations of the 19 individual museums and galleries, the National Zoo and nine research facilities.

The fall summit will also feature Quality Forum Board Member Donna D. Fraiche, Esq., attorney with Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC, who will lead a panel discussion among David Callecod, President and CEO of Lafayette General Health System; Ray Peters, Vice-President of Roy O. Martin Lumber Company and President of the Quality Forum Board of Directors; Vincent Culotta, M.D., President of the Louisiana State Medical Society; and Carol Solomon, President and CEO of Peoples Health. Mike Bertaut, Health Care Economist with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, will be the closing speaker.

As health care continues to evolve, both in Louisiana and the rest of the nation, it is important that we all take an active role in the conversation about the impact of health care reform on consumers, businesses and health care providers, payers and organizations. We encourage you to attend this event to learn more about health care reform in our state.

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