Carmona to Give NMHCC Address

NEW YORK -- The National Managed Health Care Congress today confirmed that U.S. Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona will deliver a keynote address on Reducing Racial and Cultural Disparities in Health Care, at the 15th Annual NMHCC on March 11, 2003 at 8:30 a.m. NMHCC will take place March 10-12, at the Washington DC Convention Center.

VADM Carmona is pleased to speak at this year's event due to positive response to NMHCC's Inaugural Forum on Reducing Racial & Cultural Disparities in Health Care, co-sponsored with AmeriHealth Mercy. AmeriHealth Mercy and its affiliates comprise one of the largest families of Medicaid managed care plans in the United States, with more than one million members in five states.

Preceding the keynote by the US Surgeon General will be the AstraZeneca - NMHCC Partnership Awards at 9:00 a.m.

The Inaugural Forum will focus on what health care professionals can do to ensure that cultural and racial minorities receive the same access to care and quality as non-minorities. Specifically, the forum will focus on developing "action recommendations" to address this issue, rather than re-documenting racial disparities.

Forum Chair Dr. Claudia R. Baquet, Associate Dean of Policy and Planning at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore said, "We're delighted to have the U.S. Surgeon General as a keynote speaker. It is imperative that we make a concerted effort to reduce the disparities in health that effect millions of Americans. Reducing disparities in health is a critical national and local priority. It is our hope that this forum will provide attendees with the knowledge to begin to implement well designed, well conducted and well applied activities on both a regional and local level to reduce the burden of health disparities."

Vice Admiral Richard H. Carmona was sworn in as the 17th Surgeon General of the United States Public Health Service on August 5, 2002. Dr. Carmona has worked in various positions in the medical field including paramedic, registered nurse and physician. Dr. Carmona completed a surgical residency at the University of California, San Francisco, and a National Institutes of Health-sponsored fellowship in trauma, burns and critical care. Prior to being named Surgeon General, Dr. Carmona was the chairman of the State of Arizona Southern Regional Emergency Medical System, a professor of surgery, public health and family and community medicine at the University of Arizona, and the Pima County Sheriff's Department surgeon and deputy sheriff. Dr. Carmona has also held progressive positions of responsibility as chief medical officer, hospital chief executive officer, public health officer, and finally chief executive officer of the Pima county health care system. He has also served as a medical director of police and fire departments and is a fully-qualified peace officer with expertise in special operations and emergency preparedness, including weapons of mass destruction.

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