SMU Joins in City and State Healthcare Reform Talks
Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums
As an institutional member of the City of Oakland's Health Task Force, Samuel Merritt University (SMU) regularly attends local healthcare and education conferences to share ideas on how Alameda County might improve access to healthcare.
White House Healthcare Reform Forum
On April 6, Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums invited the University to a regional meeting on Healthcare Reform at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center. The conference was the fifth in a series of regional White House forums on healthcare reform taking place across the country. The meetings are a part of President Obama's national effort to gain insight and input on the emerging federal healthcare plan.
Participation in the Oakland forum is consistent with the University values to make a difference in quality of life in diverse communities, influence healthcare, and connect with leaders who are changing healthcare policy. The Oakland forum attracted a diverse group of Californians that included consumers, businesses, labor, patients, providers and insurers. The need to provide affordable, quality healthcare for all Americans and curb skyrocketing healthcare costs were some of the topics of discussion. Mayor Dellums gave his opening remarks via satellite that were broadcasted simultaneously to other cities across California.
"I think we've got to join in and say it's time now for access for all, affordability for all, and aggressive preventive action that addresses the social determinants impacting healthcare," said Mayor Dellums. "Californians and all Americans are rightly concerned about the cost of their healthcare. We have the best doctors, technology, hospitals, but the system itself is broken."
The forum presented key Obama administration health reform goals:
- reduce long-term growth of healthcare costs for businesses and government
- protect families from bankruptcy or debt due to high rising healthcare costs
- guarantee choice of doctors and health plans
- invest in prevention and wellness strategies
- assure affordable, quality health coverage for all Americans
- maintain coverage when a job is lost or changed
- end barriers to coverage for people with pre-existing medical conditions
Visit www.HealthReform.gov to learn more about the President Obama's commitment to enacting comprehensive health reform this year.
City of Oakland Economic Summit on Healthcare Education
On May 1, SMU was again featured in Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums' discussion about economic growth and healthcare education for the City of Oakland. At the third Annual Oakland Partnership Economic Summit, held at the Marriott City Center, the SMU nursing program was spotlighted as an important resource and asset in the community. Along with a representative from the University, hundreds of business, civic and community leaders attended the conference.
Two years ago Mayor Dellums announced a goal of creating 10,000 new jobs and invited Oakland business leaders to a public-private collaboration called the Oakland Partnership to create a vibrant economy for Oakland over the next five years. This is the second time SMU attended the Summit after joining the Oakland Partnership last May.
The Partnership has brought together leaders from the business, education, and labor communities to work cooperatively on strategies for improving Oakland's economic development. This year's conference was a review of the current employment numbers, and initiatives to improve the economy.
"A primary focus of my administration is to bring key stakeholders to the table to address the significant issues facing Oakland," said Mayor Dellums. "Through the Oakland Partnership, I established a group to generate ideas towards meeting the goal of developing sustainable economic plan. We are collectively committed to creating a thriving, innovative, globally competitive regional economy that benefits all Oakland residents and businesses."
Organizers of the Economic Summit invited nearly 60 Oakland-based companies to organize a business expo, and featured a panel discussion with local CEOs regarding employment in today's recession. Mayor Dellums concluded the event by discussing how federal stimulus dollars will impact Oakland and the regional economy.
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