Chair of the Northern Illinois University Board of Trustees Cherilyn G. Murer participated in the 2013 Democratic Governors Association Conference as a healthcare panelist during the association’s annual conference June 12 at the Hotel Allegro in Chicago.
The conference featured three panel discussions on the following topics:
- Manufacturing – Revitalizing American Manufacturing and Infrastructure
- Healthcare – Preparing States for implementing the Affordable Care Act
- Job Creation and Innovation – Governors and business working together to expand economic growth and create jobs
A capacity crowd filled the Walnut Room to hear the insights and direction provided by the attending Governors and the industry thought leaders on these key subjects, but the most lively and passionate discussion was delivered by the panel addressing healthcare. “The subject of health care costs must be controlled to grow jobs and ensure prosperity” was the opening statement that ignited that panel discussion.
“During my 28 years of on-the-ground involvement in all areas of healthcare, I now see the need to establish confidence and remove the fear from those involved in the healthcare industry,” Murer stated. “This is an opportunity to review governmental restrictions, in particular those related to state certificate of need, and to allow a proactive mechanism for innovation and collaboration.”
Murer’s statements enjoyed broad support from governors and panelists alike. Each governor shared his state’s approach to reducing costs while acknowledging the need to protect accessibility and enhance quality.
Murer concluded by saying, “This is a brave new world in healthcare delivery. Let us seize the opportunity to make a major difference in the lives of our citizens.”
The healthcare panel was led by moderator Nimesh Jhaveri, the Executive Director of pharmacy and healthcare experience of Walgreens. The panelists included Ms. Murer, Sam Gibbs, Senior Vice President of eHealth, Inc., Ellen Nelson, Senior Vice President for Government Relations of Catamaran, Inc., Karen Atwood, President of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, and Wanda O. Wilson, CRNA, PhD and CEO of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists. These panelists were joined by four of the nation’s gubernatorial leaders on this subject. They included Governor Mike Beebe of Arkansas, Governor Peter Shumlin of Vermont, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin of West Virginia, and host Governor Pat Quinn of Illinois.