Date: Friday, May 30, 1997
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Damon Thompson (202) 205-1842
Shalala Appoints Policy Group on Academic Health Centers
HHS Secretary Donna E. Shalala has established an interagency policy-development group to focus on the federal role in the future of academic health centers. Dr. Ciro Sumaya, acting deputy assistant secretary for health, will lead the group.
Secretary Shalala said the group will be a focal point for the review and potential revision of HHS policies affecting academic health centers and other health work force issues, especially in light of rapid changes in the health care system.
"Most of the policies in effect today which impact on these centers were developed many years ago, and the conditions which led to these policies have changed," Shalala said. The interagency group's recommendations, she said, should include "a targeted set of actions which can be taken at the federal level to ensure that academic health centers are able to continue to provide their essential public services in a new and evolving health care system."
Academic health centers are focal points of medical research, medical training and health care for vulnerable populations. More than half of all uncompensated medical care in the United States is provided by academic health care centers.
Dr. Sumaya is former head of HHS' Health Resources and Services Administration, which has a leading role in health professions training and in providing health care to medically underserved persons.
Note: HHS press releases are available on the World Wide Web at: http://www.hhs.gov.