Brenau forum puts local perspective on national health care reform

Mar 12, 2012
Brenau Staff

One of the most divisive and hotly contested issues in recent years, the upcoming changes in national health care laws, comes into sharp local focus on Thursday, March 15, as Brenau University convenes a panel of health care experts to provide their perspectives on recent and imminent changes and address myths, realities and unanswered questions about the impact of the reforms on patients’ lives.

The 6:30 p.m. program, titled “The Health of Your Health: The Impact of Health Reform,” will be in the John W. Jacobs Jr. Business & Mass Communications Building at the corner of Academy and Green streets in Gainesville. It is free and open to the public.

Suzanne Erickson, associate dean of the College of Business & Mass Communication, convened the panel as a part of Brenau’s highly regarded program that leads to a Master of Business Administration degree in health care administration. She did not have to search far for participants. The three panelists, all Brenau M.B.A. candidates, are members of Erickson’s health care finance class. They’re also bonafide experts who are professionals in the health care field in the Gainesville area, representing the various aspects of the health care industry through their specialties.

The panelists include Steve McNeilly, director of Northeast Georgia Health Partners; Dr. Amanda Cain, chief utilization officer for Northeast Georgia Medical Center; and Lynda Adams, R.N., B.S.N., director of performance improvement at Northeast Georgia Medical Center.

McNeilly brings health insurance industry perspective to the table. He serves as director of NGHP, which oversees the health care partnership formed two decades ago by Northeast Georgia Medical Center, local physicians and regional hospitals. NGHP also provides benefit plan analysis, disease management, health and wellness programs, and educational seminars.

Cain is an internal medicine physician who practices in Gainesville. She offers insight from a doctor’s perspective.

Adams, a registered nurse at Northeast Georgia Medical Center, works with training the staff and comes at the issue from a managerial perspective.

“They represent a nice spectrum, having the insurance, doctor and the nurse who does training and management,” said Erickson. “They’re going to address that state of health care and what changes are in the pipe. I view it as being a really informative session.”

With health care issues constantly in the news against the backdrop of the 2012 presidential campaigns, Erickson said it’s important for everyone to be better informed so they can distinguish between campaign rhetoric and reality.

“We want to help them understand the economics of health care and what changes are going to happen, what health care will change for you, and what you can expect,” she added. “This would be an opportunity for community members to hear from people in the industry what’s coming down the pike.”

For more information, contact the Brenau University College of Business & Mass Communication at 770-538-4700.