Experts to Discuss U. S. Health Care Reform

By Jacqueline Ghosen

Release Date: October 8, 2009 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A panel of experts will discuss U.S. health care reform at 7 p.m. on Oct. 29 in the Drama Theatre in the University at Buffalo's Center for the Arts on the North (Amherst) Campus.

"U.S. Health Care: In Search of a Cure" will be the topic of discussion for the panel, which is free and open to the public.

Sponsored by the UB School of Management and the UB Law School, this will be the fifth event in the annual Gerald S. Lippes Speaker Series.

Panelists include Michael W. Cropp, MD, president and CEO of Independent Health; Ann F. Monroe, president of the Community Health Foundation of Western and Central New York; and Nancy H. Nielsen, MD, PhD, senior associate dean for medical education and clinical professor in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and immediate past president of the American Medical Association (AMA).

Cropp is a board-certified family physician with more than 25 years experience practicing medicine and working as a physician leader. He was an associate medical director and family physician for two managed care organizations, including Harvard Community Health Plan in Massachusetts. Prior to joining Independent Health as executive vice president and chief medical officer in 1996, he served as medical director and Gates Hospital chief operating officer for the Millard Fillmore Health System. Cropp's approach of engaging physicians as partners, implementing initiatives with community-minded results and focusing on customer-centric ideals have earned Independent Health high honors and recognition for operational excellence and customer service, both locally and nationally.

Monroe has 30 years experience in health and human services, including more than 10 years as a senior vice president with Blue Cross of California. From 1998 to 2003, she was the director of the Quality Initiative at the California HealthCare Foundation, a catalyst for improving overall quality of health care through public accountability and consumer engagement. The Community Health Foundation of Western and Central New York is an endowed foundation with assets approaching $100 million that focuses on improving the health outcomes of frail elders and children in communities of poverty, as well as improving the systems that serve them.

Before becoming AMA president, Nielsen served four terms as speaker of the AMA House of Delegates, and three as vice-speaker. As a member of the AMA Council on Scientific Affairs, she helped develop policies on depression, alcoholism among women, Alzheimer's disease and many other issues affecting America's patients. Nielsen is a nationally recognized expert in the field of clinical quality and patient safety. She has been the AMA's chief spokesperson for covering America's uninsured, and she has been an outspoken advocate on the importance of working with others to reform the nation's health care system.

The Gerald S. Lippes Speaker Series focuses on current issues and topics related to business and finance. The series is part of a larger effort to foster an integrated understanding of the worlds of business and law, and to encourage a collaborative dialogue between business and legal professionals. Funding for the series is provided through the generous support of Gerald S. Lippes.

The panel discussion, moderated by Jerry Zremski, Washington bureau chief for The Buffalo News, will run from 7-8 p.m., and will be followed by a question-and-answer session. For more information, contact Jill Phinney at 716-645-3204 or

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system that is its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.