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Affordable Health Care Act Advisor Teaching at Marshall
As a former senior health policy adviser for U.S. Sen. Olympia J. Snowe (R ME), Dr. William Pewen helped construct the Senate Finance Committee's health reform legislation, which formed the foundation of the Affordable Care Act. "The act's greatest impact is coming this fall as health coverage will become more accessible and affordable to millions of Americans," Pewen said. "That is a landmark achievement, yet the political process certainly failed to produce a broad national consensus on health reform, and we continue to face a multitude of critical health system problems. While affordable access to coverage has been expanded, improving the quality and cost of health care is likely to be far more difficult."
Pewen, now an assistant professor of public health in Marshall's College of Health Professions, plans to examine some of the key issues of health reform in a new course, "Topics in Health Policy," offered this fall for both undergraduate and graduate students.
"Given the complexity of health itself and how we obtain care, it's no surprise that so many Americans find our health care system incomprehensible," said Pewen, who also serves on the faculty of the Department of Family and Community Health at the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine. He noted that students will gain an understanding of the challenges policymakers face in attempting to forge agreement among disparate groups - from patients and health care providers to employers, economists, legal experts and the health sector industry itself.
"Since the issue is truly a matter of life and death, and health expenditures now comprise nearly one of every five dollars in domestic spending, it's a central concern for all of us," Pewen said. Dr. Michael W. Prewitt, dean of the College of Health Professions, said the course cuts across multiple disciplines and is designed not only to provide students with a working knowledge of the issues of health reform, but also provide each student with experience in crafting a policy proposal on a health issue of interest.
"The issues of health reform remain key concerns to health care providers and thus involve economists, policy makers, patient advocates and, of course, those in clinical care and public health," Prewitt said. "We feel extremely lucky to have someone like Professor Pewen on staff to provide real-world perspectives for our students and staff at Marshall."
The course, "Topics in Health Policy," will be taught from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays in Prichard Hall on the Huntington campus and will be available for undergraduate and graduate credit. For more information on this course, contact Pewen at email@example.com.