University News

"Health Care Reform 101" Panel Discussion Oct. 26

October 20, 2009

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MACOMB, IL - - The Western Illinois University Economics Student Association (ESA) will present "Health Care Reform 101" beginning at 2:15 p.m. Monday, Oct. 26 in Morgan Hall, room 109, on WIU's Macomb campus.

According to Tara Westerhold, associate professor in Western's economics department, the event will begin with a screening of President Obama's health address to the joint session of Congress. This 45-minute presentation will provide an overview of the critical issues of health care reform and will serve as an introduction to a panel discussion that will start after the screening, she added.

The panel discussion will begin at 3:30 p.m. and will feature five panelists, including Julie Auger, instructor in Western's School of Nursing; Mary Jane Clark, president of the Illinois Rural Health Association; Martin Diestler, a malpractice attorney; Jessica Harriger, an instructor in WIU's economics department and a health economist; and Stephen Hopper, CEO of McDonough District Hospital in Macomb.

"The panel members will discuss the emerging opportunities and challenges facing different stakeholders in the health care industry in light of the current legislation," Westerhold noted. "We are excited to launch a discussion on campus about health care reform. This is a timely and important issue that affects us all. We have assembled a panel with a broad range of expertise and professional experience to talk about the impact of health reform on different constituent groups, and we believe the event provides a great educational opportunity for our students and the local community."

Health Care Reform 101 is open free to the public.

For more information about the event, contact Westerhold at (309) 298-1313 or For media members attending the event, ESA President Brian McElroy will be available to answer questions.

Posted By: Teresa Koltzenburg (
Office of University Communications & Marketing