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October 16, 2001


LA CROSSE, Wis—Former senator David Durenberger will be in La Crosse, Monday, Nov. 5 to conduct what is called a "common ground process"  with health care providers and the public to assess what kind of health system citizens envision for their future.

Durenberger plans a number of stops while in La Crosse. His public presentation, "The Health System of the Future," will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the Viterbo Fine Arts Center Main Lobby.  Earlier in the day, he will be meeting with health care administrators and staff at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center and Franciscan Skemp Healthcare. His visit is sponsored by the D.B. Reinhart Institute for Leadership and Ethics at Viterbo University.

Durenberger, who is currently chairman and CEO of the National Institute of Health Policy, is best known for his activity as a U.S. senator from Minnesota, a position he held from 1978-1995. In Congress, he was chair of the Health Subcommittee of the Senate Finance Committee and was catapulted into a leadership role in national health reform. He authored and co-authored most Medicare/Medicaid, health insurance, and other health reform legislation from 1980 until President Clinton’s Health Security Act in 1993.

According to Rick Kyte, director of the Reinhart Institute, Durenberger selected La Crosse as a site for his "common ground" dialogue because the region as a local entity, has an experienced and broad health care delivery system. "In this assessment, he will be looking at ways to bridge the gap between the worlds of health policy, research, and delivery of care," Kyte said. "With three decades of health-policy experience, he’s an excellent choice to lead this conversation."

Kyte indicated that the process Durenberger facilitates is intended to address topics such as dealing with medical costs that are rising faster than the rate of inflation, the growing healthcare workforce shortage, and the fate of America’s health care system which is becoming increasingly complicated.

Admittance to the evening presentation, which will be followed by a reception, is free and a reservation is not required.

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