For more information contact: Boonshoft School of Medicine, Judi Engle, Office of Public Relations, (937) 775-2951

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 19, 2007

Medical Students Raise Awareness for the Uninsured

Uninsured week logoDayton, Ohio-Medical students at Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine have developed a program in conjunction with the national Cover the Uninsured Week. The series of events is designed to spread awareness of and encourage solutions to the problems facing the 46 million Americans without health insurance. Their efforts were recognized by the Association of American Medical Colleges, which awarded Wright State a grant, one of seven medical schools in the country.

The public is invited and the events are free. All take place at noon in Room 101, White Hall on Wright State's campus.

Monday, 4/23- Panel discussion to examine options for covering the uninsured. Speakers will be Dr. Karen Kirkham, a representative from the Single Payer Action Network (SPAN); Dr. Warren Muth, a local surgeon who will speak about the AMA's plan to cover the uninsured; Timothy Hesketh, Human Resources Director at Summit Racing Equipment, who will speak about employer obligations to cover employees; and Norm Riley, principal at Wachovia Insurance Services to give an overview of health coverage from the insurance company's standpoint.

Tuesday, 4/24- Panel discussion about funding medical care for older adults. Dr. Larry Lawhorne, chair of the Department of Geriatrics, will bring in a panel to discuss current ways the elderly and adult population is covered.

Wednesday, 4/25- Presentation on providing health coverage for children. Maria Gentile, a representative from Healthy Start, Healthy Families (Ohio's SCHIP program) will come to share information about Ohio's Medicaid.

Thursday, 4/26- Panel discussion on meeting the health needs of the Dayton area. Gina McFarlane-El, Director of Ambulatory Centers for Premier Health Partners; Dr. Kate Cauley, director of the Center for Healthy Communities; Dr. Ted Wymyslo, board member of Reach Out of Montgomery County; and Dr. Gary LeRoy, Assistant Dean for Minority and Student Affairs at the Boonshoft School of Medicine.

Students will distribute informational pamphlets, awareness ribbons, and Cover the Uninsured Week magnets and stickers. They will conduct a fundraiser for Reach Out, a local free clinic, entitled "Boonshoft Brew: Coffee for a Cause," selling freshly brewed coffee, mugs, and baked goods to students and faculty each morning.

During the week, students will also present a letter of support addressed to university administration encouraging the requirement to hire contractors to offer health benefits to their employees. The letter of support will be made available for administration, faculty, staff and the student body to sign.