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Symposium: National Press Club

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Symposium: National Press Club


Click here to connect to the symposium live at 12:30 on October 16.

South Carolina Educational Television will hold a special symposium at the National Press Club on October 16th, bringing together patients, experts on medical quality, and representatives of health plans and health providers. The symposium will be broadcast live on the Internet from 12:30pm - 2:00pm.

Two panels will consider issues of medical quality and treatment of the chronically ill. At the end of the symposium, a special poll on American public attitudes on health issues such as: patients bill of rights, coverage for the uninsured, and the future of Medicare as well as patients' experiences in health care, will be released to the press. There will be a briefing by Princeton Survey Research Associates, which conducted the national survey on health care for the project on "Critical Condition with Hedrick Smith."

The sponsors hope that Sen. Jay Rockefeller will agree to be the keynote speaker for the event. Among the experts who will participate will be Dr. Don Berwick, President and CEO of the Institute on Health Care Improvement; Catherine Hoffman, a specialist on the chronically ill and the uninsured from the Kaiser Family Foundation; Karen Ignani, President of the Association of Health Plans; Ginny Hamm, attorney for the Veterans Administration hospital in Lexington, Kentucky; and Chris McConnell, mother of a three-year-old boy born with a congenital defect in his diaphragm that has made him a chronic patient requiring extended home nursing practically throughout his life.

The symposium is co-hosted by South Carolina Educational Television, which is the presenting station for "Critical Condition with Hedrick Smith" and which has established a reputation for public outreach and educational programming within the PBS system. South Carolina ETV is also administering a program of mini-grants to other PBS stations to help fund spin-off programs and community meetings on health care issues in connection with the October 18th broadcast of "Critical Condition."

Hedrick Smith Productions, the other co-host, was formed in 1990 by Pulitzer Prize-winning former New York Times correspondent Hedrick Smith. "Critical Condition" is the seventh prime time PBS series created by Mr. Smith and his production team. In this production, the camera crews have filmed the personal stories of patients from Florida to New England, New York to California, Kentucky to Texas and Tennessee to Utah in an effort to probe the quality and accessibility of health care for all Americans.

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