Susannah Fox, Chief Technology Officer at the Department of Health and Human Services

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Susannah Fox, Chief Technology Officer at the Department of Health and Human Services. Ms. Fox discusses the culture of innovation underway at HHS including the HHS Idea Lab and Health Datapalooza which liberates health data to researchers and tech entrepreneurs seeking to create improvements in health care.

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Dr. Tom Frieden, Director of the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention

This week on Conversations on Health Care hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Tom Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention since 2009. Dr. Frieden discusses the most pressing challenges at the CDC including antibiotic-resistant infections, the opioid abuse epidemic and the recent Ebola epidemic as well as the efforts underway to combat these public health threats.

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Sean Cavanaugh, Deputy Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

This week hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Sean Cavanaugh, Deputy Administrator and Director for the Center For Medicare at Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, where he oversees payment models for Medicare’s 50 million users. Mr. Cavanaugh talks about the culture of innovation underway at CMS to promote new payment models that incentivize improved outcomes while promoting cost containment.

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Dr. Eric Green, Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute at NIH

This week, Mark and Margaret speak with Dr. Eric Green, Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health, the world’s largest organization dedicated solely to genomics research. Dr. Green was on the team that mapped the human genome and talks about new initiatives at NIH to create better platforms for storing and sharing big data in this new era of scientific research.

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Bill Hoagland, Sr. VP of the Bipartisan Policy Center

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Bill Hoagland, Senior Vice President of the Bipartisan Policy Center where he manages health policy initiatives. Mr. Hoagland, a long time Budget and Appropriations Director in the US Senate, analyzes the recent Supreme Court ruling upholding tax subsidies under the Affordable Care Act and what it means for health reform moving forward.

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Supreme Week

An email to CHC Staff, adapted for the blog:

Greetings

This has been a great week for equality in our country.  Yesterday, the Supreme Court upheld the subsidies in the Affordable Care Act so that no matter what state you live in, you can continue to access affordable health insurance.

Today they issued their ruling that everyone is entitled to marriage, no matter what your sexual orientation is or the state you live in.

Every day, we work hard to make sure that all our patients can benefit from these inalienable rights.  Today, we celebrate the decisions of the Supreme Court recognizing the alienable rights of everyone to health care and marriage.

It truly has been a great week.

Peace and Health

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Dr Kenneth Brigham, Co-Founder of the Emory/Georgia Tech Predictive Health Institute

This week hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Kenneth Brigham, Professor Emeritus at Emory University and Co-Founder of the Emory/Georgia Tech Predictive Health Institute which is seeking to develop innovative predictive health models that will shift the health care of the future to focusing on optimizing good health rather than treating disease.

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Juneteenth, 2015

South Carolina. The first thing that always comes to my mind is my longtime friend, Lillian “Reba” Moses, daughter of a sharecropper and co-founder of Community Health Center. Reba was born in Florence, South Carolina and she made her way north as part of a migration for better opportunity for herself and her family. While a place of hard times, she always fondly remembered her days growing up in Florence and the influence that the church, prayer and faith had on her life.   Reba brought with her from South Carolina hope and faith that have sustained us for 43 years.

South Carolina. I can’t get the image out of my mind, of how a prayer circle ended in such tragedy, with the murder of nine people who had grown up together and were at Emanuel A.M.E. church in worship and prayer together. That these murders were motivated by racism and hatred is heartbreaking and fills us with anger. For the families who lost their loved ones and for others who lost the opportunity to have a Reba in their life, we send our prayers.

Today,  June 19th,  it’s an important day in our history that often gets overlooked;  “Juneteenth Independence Day” commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery in the United States of America in 1865 (150 years ago today). On a day we would be celebrating what we hoped was in our past, the fact is that Racism remains pervasive throughout our society. We are always at great intersections in America when we talk about race, as it always seems we find ourselves at the crossroads of hate and hope.  I’m with Reba on this and believe that we can bring hope through faith and action.

Martin Luther King put it best when he said:  “Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away, and that in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty”

Peace and Health

Mark Masselli
President/CEO
Community Health Center,Inc

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Dr. C. Michael Gibson, Founder of the WikiDoc Foundation

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. C. Michael Gibson, interventional cardiologist and Founder and Chairman of the Board of the WikiDoc Foundation, the world’s largest open source textbook of medicine designed to make medical knowledge free and accessible to all.

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1st Annual Summer Dinner for Rooftop Garden Club

The Community Health Center, Inc. rooftop garden comes to life each spring by thawing itself out after the harsh winters of New England weather, and awakens for spring. The Middletown Garden Club is welcomed to the rooftop to plant and weed every Tuesday from now until August. They plant an array of seedlings and vegetables for their three annual dinners throughout the summer. Not only does the club garden each year, but also extends an invitation to MARC Community Resources organization to help take care of the garden.

MARC is located on Washington Street and is known to serve over 200 adults and children with a wide range of disabilities. One of their ways to assist their needs is to help them find activities where it gives them an opportunity to work with others, meet new people, and gain a working knowledge on an activity they wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity.

This year the club received new soil, sand, and compost for each plot. They decided to plant an assortment of new fruits and vegetables this season ranging from watermelon, bush beans, strawberries, lettuce, kale Tuscan, and much more. After gardening on the roof this past Tuesday and getting rained out of the garden right before picking many of the strawberries and lettuce they all packed up and drove to Melissa Robert’s home for the first annual dinner of the summer.

The club prepared many of the dishes at Robert’s home using the lettuce and strawberries from the garden like a multi-colored pasta salad, lettuce and strawberry salad, and sweet coleslaw. Robert’s husband cooked hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill. Many of us were spread out throughout dinner with some eating on the porch, dining room, and in the breakfast nook overlooking Robert’s garden. Many finished off their plates and quickly moved onto the homemade desserts like brownies with beans, bread with melted apple, and a bowl full of strawberries from the garden.

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