Health care forum in Forsyth Library to bring together medical, insurance professionals

In defiance of their characterization by the national media as an "invisible minority," Fort Hays State University students will gather at Forsyth Library at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3, to hear a panel of health industry insiders talk about reform.

Presented by Forsyth Library, FHSU's Learning Commons and the American Democracy Project, the event will also feature an interactive exhibition of gaming and information stations and an informal reception that will provide an opportunity for open discussion. Door prizes and refreshments will be provided.

Healthcare: Get in the Game was conceived as a chance for students to get real information, rather than rhetoric and partisan "politics as usual" and as an opportunity to ask questions about the proposed legislation and the process in a rational environment.

The panel for features speakers from three different perspectives on this complex issue:

Dona Koenigsman, director of the FHSU Student Health Center, joined the staff at the beginning of this academic year. She had been director of Hays Planned Parenthood and clinic manager at the Renal Care Center. Koenigsman graduated from FHSU in 1995 with a degree in nursing.

Sunee Mickle, director of Government Relations for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas, coordinates the company's activities with elected officials and regulatory agencies, oversees lobbying efforts and the maintenance of member contracts. Mickle previously worked as a senior policy analyst in the public health unit at the Kansas Health Institute, where she researched and analyzed legal and health policy issues in such public health areas as childhood immunizations, public health systems and patient information privacy. Before joining KHI, Mickle worked in the pharmaceutical industry for nine years.

Dr. Marilyn Ray, a board certified radiologist and a fellow at FHSU's Docking Institute of Public Affairs, practices radiology in northwest Kansas and eastern Colorado. She obtained her M.D. from Tufts University in Boston and took her radiology training at Harvard's Beth Israel Hospital, also in Boston. She received a master's in public health at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Md., in May 2004. Her main interest in public health is strategic health communication, with the goal of improving the community norms of health behaviors, both here and abroad.

For more information about this event or to arrange an interview with one of the organizers, please contact Tania Alekson at (785) 365-6056 or

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