Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Health care, according to Donna Shalala

Former U.S. secretary of health to speak in Ketchum

Express Staff Writer

Donna Shalala

The Sun Valley Center for the Arts could not have better timing in presenting Donna Shalala, President Clinton's Secretary of Health and Human Services from 1993 to 2000. Shalala will give a lecture Monday, March 22, at 7 p.m. at the Church of the Bigwood in Ketchum as part of the Sun Valley Center for the Arts Lecture Series. The lecture is $20 for Sun Valley Center for the Arts members and $30 for non-members.

Shalala was the longest-serving Health and Human Services secretary in U.S. history. President George W. Bush presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award, in 2008. She is currently president of the University of Miami, as well as a leading voice in the current health care debate.

Born in Cleveland, Shalala was an early Peace Corps volunteer, serving in Iran from 1962 to 1964. She earned a doctorate degree from Syracuse University and has held tenured professorships at Columbia University, the City University of New York and the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She was president of Hunter College from 1980 to 1987 and chancellor of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, from 1987 to 1993.

In 1993, Clinton appointed her U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services. She made health insurance available to an estimated 3.3 million children through approval of the Children's Health Insurance Program, raised child immunization rates, led major reforms of the FDA's drug-approval process and food safety system, revitalized the National Institutes of Health and directed a major management and policy reform of Medicare.

At the end of her tenure as Health and Human Services secretary, the Washington Post described her as "one of the most successful government managers of modern times."

To buy tickets, visit, call 726-9491or stop by The Center in Ketchum.

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