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University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 23, 2010

UI convenes forum on health care needs for Iowa's aging population

To assist policymakers in addressing the health care challenges and opportunities presented by Iowa's increasing aging population, the University of Iowa is co-sponsoring a conference "Enhancing Geriatric Care Across Iowa," from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 30, at the Embassy Suites on the River, 101 E. Locust St., Des Moines.

The event calls together local and national health policy leaders who are working to increase health literacy, improve inpatient services, coordinate outpatient health care with community-based programs and expand options for long-term and end-of-life care. The event is open to the public. The registration fee is $70, which includes meals and refreshments.

The conference is the fourth in the "Rebalancing Health Care in the Heartland" forum series, spearheaded by the UI Health Sciences Policy Council, UI Center on Aging, UI Health Care, Partnership for Better Health and Iowa AARP.

"This forum will bring together local and national health policy experts to examine the budding challenges in health care and health policy as the aging population grows in Iowa and across the nation," said Jean Robillard, M.D., UI vice president for medical affairs. "Iowa has the opportunity to lead the nation by demonstrating quality geriatric care and services."

A UI Center on Aging report, also titled "Enhancing Geriatric Care Across Iowa," determined that high-quality geriatric care is critical in helping older Iowans maintain their physical and mental health, and expanding geriatric care will increase the efficiency of service delivery and improve value in health care purchasing. However, the report also found a large, growing gap between the need for geriatric health care services in Iowa and the supply of those services.

"Iowa is at the forefront of the nation's aging population boom," said Brian Kaskie, Ph.D., associate director of public policy for the Center on Aging and UI associate professor of health management and policy. "How our policymakers and health care leaders choose to address the challenges presented by the increasing number of older Iowans is a critical issue for us to consider."

The conference will include presentations on the state and future of the national health care system, health care reform's impact on geriatric care, new models of geriatric care, Medicare and more.

David Walker, president and CEO of Peter G. Peterson Foundation and former U.S. Comptroller General, will deliver the keynote address. Other speakers include Michael Maves, M.D., executive vice president and CEO of the American Medical Association, Jerald Winakur, M.D., clinical professor of medicine at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center, and Susan Reinhard, Ph.D., director of Health Policy for AARP.

Additional details and registration information are online at:

STORY SOURCE: The University of Iowa College of Public Health Office of Communications and External Relations, 4257 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242

MEDIA CONTACT: Hannah Fletcher, 319-384-4277,