30-year veteran in health policy & services to explain Affordable Care Act: Director of Health Reform Resource Project to speak, answer questions in public forum at FHSU

On the first of the year, most of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), known as Obamacare, will go into effect. Yet, if the polls are correct, most people still do not understand how the act will affect them.

In what he describes as an attempt to "lower the political heat and shed some light on the issue," Sheldon Weisgrau, director of the Health Reform Resource Project, will talk about health care, health insurance and why it is an important public policy issue in the Fort Hays Ballroom of Fort Hays State University's Memorial Union at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15.

The presentation is free and open to the public. Weisgrau is appearing at the invitation of the university's College of Health and Life Sciences in conjunction with the Senior Companion and Foster Grandparent programs.

"We encourage anyone who wants to understand the new law to attend," said Dr. Jeff Briggs, dean of the college.

The Hearlth Reform Project is a foundation-funded initiative to provide education and technical assistance to consumers and other stakeholders in the implementation of health reform and the Affordable Care Act in Kansas.

Weisgrau will talk about the ACA, how it may (or may not) address problems in the health system, and the impact of the law on consumers, health care providers, and businesses.

He said that he will make a presentation and then open the floor to questions from the audience.

Weisgrau has been explaining the health care act around the state since the ACA was passed in March 2010. By now, he said, he has made "many hundreds" of presentations.

"Right now, with implementation so close, it's pretty much non-stop," he said.

He has 30 years of experience in health policy and has worked in the public, private, and non-profit sectors to ensure the delivery of health care services in rural and underserved communities and to enhance the knowledge and engagement of health care consumers, providers, and policymakers.

He earned his undergraduate degree from Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., and a master’s degree in health policy and management from the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, Baltimore, Md.

The Health Reform Resource Project was formed to assist in public education and consumer and stakeholder engagement related to health reform and to assist Kansas entities in securing grant opportunities available under the ACA.

Funding for the project is from a coalition of six organizations that comprise Kansas Grantmakers in Health: the Sunflower Foundation; the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund; REACH Healthcare Foundation; the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City; the Kansas Health Foundation; and the Wyandotte Health Foundation.

For more information, contact the College of Health and Life Sciences at 785-628-4200 or by email to chls1@fhsu.edu.

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Kent Steward, Director   |  ksteward@fhsu.edu  |  Kurt Beyers, Assistant Director   |  kbeyers@fhsu.edu