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MARCH 11, 2003
1:06 PM
CONTACT: American Medical Student Association (AMSA) 
Jody T. Greenspon: (703) 620-6600, ext. 207

American Medical Student Association (AMSA) Organizes Campus Discussions to Focus on Uninsured
RESTON, VA - March 11 - AMSA members and other medical students will join thousands of nursing and public health students throughout the nation in participating in on-campus activities to learn more about the plight of the more than 74 million Americans who lack health insurance. These events have been planned as part of Cover the Uninsured Week, a series of national and local events designed to raise awareness about the uninsured. The campus events are planned for Tuesday, March 11 at medical, dental, public health and nursing schools across the country.

Cover the Uninsured Week is a weeklong series of events taking place in communities from coast to coast during March 10-16. To advance the nation's understanding of the uninsured, some of the most influential organizations in the United States including AMSA are joining with The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in support of the week.

Medical research shows that uninsured Americans often delay medical treatment and preventive screenings because they cannot afford them. As a result, the uninsured often live sicker and die younger than Americans who have health insurance coverage.

"As physicians-in-training, we believe that equal access to comprehensive health care is a basic right. AMSA has long encouraged medical students to recognize the plight of the uninsured and our responsibility to take leadership in solving this crisis", said Eric J. Hodgson, M.D., national president of AMSA. "We are encouraged that today's on-campus activities will engage even more health professional students in meaningful discussions and partnerships to eradicate uninsurance in America."

"Today's students are tomorrow's health leaders, and it is crucial for them to understand that millions of uninsured Americans live sicker and die younger than they should because they lack health care coverage," said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., M.B.A., president and CEO of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. "These campus discussions are making it clear to the next generation of physicians and nurses that they will not be able to provide the best care for every patient until the uninsured have health coverage."

Some of AMSA's campus events being held include:

In New York, AMSA chapters at NYU, Columbia, City University of NY at Brooklyn, State University of NY-Downstate, and Mt. Sinai School of Medicine will host a number of distinguished guests who will discuss the various moral, ethical, and socioeconomic implications of the uninsured. Dr. Eric Hodgson, AMSA National President will speak at a candlelight vigil in Union Square. Other speakers at the vigil will include Rima Cohen, Greater NY Hospital Association, Olveen Carrasquillo, MD, Physicians for a National Health Program, Anne-Mindy Sheinbaum, Children's Defense Fund, Mark Kessler, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, Lanny Smith, MD, Doctors for Global Health, and Mark Hannay, Metro NYC Health Care for All Campaign

In San Francisco, the AMSA chapter at the University of California will host a panel discussion on options for the uninsured featuring former Robert Wood Johnson President Dr. Steven Schroeder, as well as a panel discussion with Blue Shield Chief Medical officer Dr. Eric Brock, and UCSF professor Dr. Kevin Grumbach.

In Chicago, AMSA chapters at University of Illinois at Chicago, Northwestern, Loyola, and University of Chicago will each have special presentations on the uninsured featuring doctors, ethicists, economists, and professors.

In Philadelphia, AMSA chapters at University of Pennsylvania, Temple, Thomas Jefferson University- Jefferson Medical College, and Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine will each have doctors, professors, and medical students leading discussions among students, educators, doctors, nurses, and other health care providers about the plight of the uninsured and the challenge of providing the uninsured with adequate health care.

In Nashville, the AMSA chapter at Vanderbilt University will hear a keynote address by Mr. Boone Powell, retired CEO of Baylor Health Systems. Other panelists presenting the health, legal/moral/ethical and economic perspectives of the uninsured will include Dr. Thomas F. Frist of the Hospital Corporation of America, Inc, Dr. Stephanie Bailey of the Metro Public Health Department, and Dr. Larry Churchill of Vanderbilt School of Medicine with wrap-up by Dr. Harry Jacobson of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. John Seigenthaler will moderate the event.

For information on AMSA On Campus events being held in conjunction with 'Cover the Uninsured Week', contact your local AMSA chapter or visit For a complete listing of the entire week's events, log on to


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