Governor Martin O'Malley Convenes Forum on Children and Health
Fourth of five "Maryland Forward" forums designed to shape O'Malley-Brown second term, transition Maryland into new economy
BALTIMORE, MD (January 10, 2011)– Governor Martin O’Malley convened the fourth of five forums today, designed to elicit feedback and ideas from stakeholders in preparation for a second term as Maryland’s Governor. Today’s forum focused on children and health, keeping Maryland competitive, expanding opportunity for our children, and serving as a national model for the implementation of federal health care reform. Today’s forum gathered the input from approximately 400 stakeholders, including recommendations for legislation and actions related to childhood hunger, health information technology, substance abuse, infant mortality, lead poisoning, and HIV/AIDS.
Approximately 400 industry stakeholders took part in plenary sessions and topic-specific workgroups at today’s forum, which was hosted by Coppin State University in Baltimore. Facilitators included Anne Sheridan, Maryland Director of Share Our Strength; Dr. Mark Kelemen, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Informatics Officer at University of Maryland Medical System; Dr. Yngvild Olsen, Medical Director, Outpatient Substance Abuse Treatment Services at Johns Hopkins Hospital; Dr. Raymond Cox, Director of Ob/Gyn Services at Prince George's Hospital Center; Dr. Robert Redfield, co-founder and associate director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine; and Ruth Anne Norton, executive director of the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning.
“We are all here today because we understand that we are in a fight for our children’s future. It’s a fight to turn into the new economy with more opportunity for all,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “At a time when other states were kicking people off their health care rolls, we’ve added nearly 243,000 people, including more than 115,000 children. Together, we’re leading the nation in developing Health IT and we’re fighting together to become the first state in the nation to end childhood hunger.”
Earlier today, Lt. Governor Brown and the Maryland Health Care Reform Coordinating Council submitted to Governor O’Malley its final report and recommendations. The Council made 16 specific recommendations, including legislation establishing the initial structure and governance of the Maryland health insurance exchange in compliance with federal deadlines and the creation of an Office of Health Reform that would assume primary responsibility for health reform implementation. Last summer, the Council released a report that found federal health reform will save Maryland $829 million over 10 years and cut the number of uninsured Marylanders by half.
“Federal health reform presents states with an opportunity to expand access to coverage, improve the quality of care and save hundreds of millions of dollars. I applaud my colleagues on the Health Reform Coordinating Council for developing a national model to implement federal reform,” Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown said. “It’s our responsibility and duty to implement federal reform and we know that if we do it right, reform will save Maryland nearly $830 million and cut the number of uninsured in half.”
The “Maryland Forward” forum series serve to develop strategies for the O’Malley-Brown Administration’s second term, and generate concrete actions and recommendations that support the Administration’s strategic goals.