On the afternoon of Jan. 20, College of Health Sciences students, faculty and staff filled the Jordan ballroom to listen to the dean, Tim Dunnagan, and the college’s Board of Ambassadors. The Board of Ambassadors supports the college in identifying strategic directions, opportunities and resources to enhance the college’s teaching and research agendas and is comprised of key health administrators primarily within Idaho, discuss health care reform and its impact on higher education in the health sciences. The interactive event was called “Health Care Reform and the Future of Higher Education.”
After a short introduction by Dunnagan, Dr. Tedd Epperly gave a short presentation on training health care providers within a health care reform environment. Epperly is recognized nationally as a family physician in Boise, Idaho where he sees patients, teaches family medicine residents, and directs the Family Medicine Residency of Idaho. He is a clinical professor of family and community medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine and is a past president and chairman of the board of the American Academy of Family Physicians, which represents over 100,300 family physicians nationally. Epperly is the co-chair of the national Center on Accountable Care of the Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative (PCPCC) dedicated to transforming the United States health care system around primary care. Epperly has published over 50 articles and has given close to 1,000 lectures and media interviews nationally and internationally on medical topics, health care reform, and why reform is so important.
Following Epperly’s presentation, Dunnagan moderated a question and answer session. The questions were generated by College of Health Sciences students through their coursework as well as by audience members. Epperly and a panel of members of the college’s Board of Ambassadors shared their deep understanding and numerous experiences related to health programming from payer, provider and public health orientations. The panel included Dick Armstrong (Idaho Director, Health and Welfare), Ed Dahlberg (Former CEO of St. Luke’s System), Steve Millard (Former President of Idaho Hospital Association), Chris Roth (Sr. Vice President and COO of St. Luke’s Health System), Marty Gabica (Senior Medical Officer, Healthwise), and Dave Self ( Vice President of St. Luke’s Health Partners). Three members of the Board of Ambassadors could not be present for the panel, Zelda Geyer-Sylvia (President and CEO of Blue Cross), Rodney Reider (President of Saint Alphonsus), and Maryann Reese (Boise State Distinguished Alumna and President and CEO of Saint Elizabeth Hospital, Belleville, Illinois).