Beyond the general policy coursework of the Thomas Jefferson Program in Public Policy, Master’s candidates often pursue a particular policy field of interest. A significant number of students within the program have chosen to study health policy and a select few have been honored as Schroeder Healthcare Policy Fellows (Cory Kaufman, Geoffrey Peck, David Sitcovsky, Massey Whorley, and Stefanie Whorton).
In partnership with the Schroeder Center for Healthcare Policy, the Schroeder Fellows and the director of the Schroeder Center, Dr. Lou Rossiter, attended the National Health Policy Conference in Washington D. C. on February 4th and 5th, 2008.
On the center stage at the conference were star-studded panels of speakers who presented on Comparative Effectiveness, Rising Health Care Costs, Presidential Candidates' Health Care Reform Proposals, and Health Care for Military Personnel and Veterans.
Most notable among the speakers were Donna Shalala – President of the University of Miami and former Director of the Department of Health and Human Services, Peter Orzag – Director of the Congressional Budget Office, and Joseph Antos – Wilson H. Taylor Scholar in Health Care and Retirement Policy at the American Enterprise Institute. Not to be overshadowed, Dr. Rossiter presented the 2008 HSR Impact Award to Dr. Arlene Ash for her work in risk-based predictive modeling.
In addition, smaller breakout panel presentations offered the opportunity for Schroeder Fellows to attend presentations on specific issues of interest. Among those attended by Schroeder Fellows were Young and Uninsured: Closing the Gap for the Invincible and the Ineligible, Addressing Federal Challenges to State Reforms, and Mental Health Parity: Opportunities and Limitations.
Returning on Tuesday afternoon, the Schroeder Fellows reflected on the NHPC and the valuable perspective and information gained from the presentations. All too often solitary focus is placed on reading a certain book or article, producing a paper, and moving on. However, the conference removed the Schroeder Fellows from the academic bubble, if only for a short period of time, to show them how the concepts learned in the classroom can be applied to national and state health care policy.
Significant thanks to Lois and Cliff Schroeder, without whom the Schroeder Healthcare Policy Center would not exist and our attendance of the NHPC would not have been possible.