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For Immediate Release

Obama Nominates PHR Board Member Don Berwick to Head Medicare and Medicaid

Cambridge, Mass - 04/22/2010

Physicians for Human Rights applauds President Obama's nomination this week of PHR Board member Don Berwick, MD, to be the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. PHR CEO Frank Donaghue praised the choice of Dr. Berwick noting that, "Don has dedicated his career to bringing creative solutions to healthcare policy, working to improve the quality of care while reducing costs; he is the right person to take on the challenges of running CMS at this turning point in the history of the American healthcare system."

Dr. Berwick is currently the President and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, a non-profit organization working for the improvement of health care around the world. Founded in 1991 and based in Cambridge, MA, IHI cultivates innovative concepts for improving patient care and implementing programs for putting those ideas into action. Dr. Berwick is also Clinical Professor of Pediatrics and Health Care Policy in the Department of Pediatrics at the Harvard Medical School and Professor of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Dr. Berwick has been a member of PHR's Board since November 2007 and has offered continuing guidance to the organization as it navigates the changing field on non-profit research and advocacy. "Don was able to bring the knowledge and vision he developed running the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and translate it to PHR's work in health and human rights," said Donaghue.

While Physicians for Human Rights does not take a position on the specific details of domestic healthcare reform policies, we strongly believe that meaningful and effective reforms must adhere to certain human rights principles. At a minimum the US healthcare system must ensure that health services are available, accessible, and of good quality for all people, and must eliminate discrimination in all its forms, including eliminating ethnic disparities in health care delivery. "We look forward to supporting Don and the Obama Administration in working toward a more equitable healthcare system that recognizes adequate healthcare as a human right not a privilege," said PHR Washington Director John Bradshaw, "We urge the Senate to recognize Don's superb qualifications for this position and confirm him swiftly."

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is a New York-based advocacy organization that uses science and medicine to stop mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. Learn more here.

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