BALTIMORE, MD—Democratic Leader, Senator Barry Hobbins (D-Saco) was one of more than eighty legislators, corporate leaders, and academics from across the country who participated in the State Legislative Leaders Foundation (SLLF) and Johns Hopkins University’s 2011 Health Care Summit – Unusual Suspects: Using Technology to Build Partnerships that Will Improve Health and Health Care in America.
The program, held this October at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, was the first in a series of three annual programs, focused on health care and technology and how certain technologies, properly developed, implemented and administered, can have a positive measurable effect on the cost, quality and delivery of health care.
“Health care remains one of the most important issues for Maine people,” said Hobbins. “I was honored to be invited as a legislative leader to learn from some of the nation’s top thinkers about the best and most affordable methods to deliver health care to all corners of Maine—especially in our more rural areas.”
Session topics included: an assessment of the national status quo; an analysis of the role of technology in cutting costs; using technology to reach underserved communities; distance training of health care professionals; and how to share patient data in a secure, economical and effective way. Participants were also beneficiaries of a series of presentations on wellness which covered the impact of stress, the prevention of cancer, maintaining a healthy heart, and the basics of a good diet.
The delivery and management of health care has enormous budgetary and societal implications. This complex issue goes straight to the question of the role of government in private lives and takes a disproportionate amount of legislative time and resources.
SLLF President Stephen G. Lakis states: “The question of how best to reform our health care delivery system to make it more accessible and affordable to citizens, government and industry, is going to be with us for a long time. We certainly won’t solve the problem this year, or next, but along with Johns Hopkins University’s Schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Public Health, we feel confident we can better inform these legislative and business leaders about their realistic options.”
As with all SLLF programs, the overriding goal is to give legislative leaders relevant, objective information. SLLF aims to inform the debate, not to propose policy. Sen. Hobbins participation in the SLLF program was not funded by taxpayer money and was instead financed entirely through SLLF.
Johns Hopkins University Hospital was recently ranked Number 1 in the US News and World Report’s rankings of medical facilities across the country, a designation Hopkins has now won in each of the 21 years the designation has been granted.