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For Immediate Release

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

Cambridge, Mass - 07/07/2010

Physicians form Human Rights (PHR) congratulates board member Don Berwick, MD, on his recent appointment as Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Until his appointment, Dr. Berwick was President and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, a non-profit organization working for the improvement of healthcare around the world that he co-founded in 1991. Under his leadership, IHI has developed breakthrough techniques for dramatically improving healthcare.

Additionally, Dr. Berwick is Clinical Professor of Pediatrics and Healthcare 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.

"Don Berwick's expertise, innovation and vision have helped keep PHR on the cutting edge of health and human rights research and advocacy. Those qualities will serve President Obama and the nation well as we work together to ensure that healthcare is accessible and equitable for all," said PHR CEO Frank Donaghue. "Whether he's developing new ways to improve patient care or helping PHR train medical leaders in Zimbabwe, Don recognizes that healthcare is a basic human right and not a privilege for a select few. While PHR will lose a valued member of our board the nation gains an immensely talented health care expert."

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is an independent organization that uses medicine and science to stop mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. We are supported by the expertise and passion of health professionals and concerned citizens alike.

Since 1986, PHR has conducted investigations in more than 40 countries around the world, including Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Sudan, the United States, the former Yugoslavia, and Zimbabwe.

  • 1986 — Led investigations of torture in Chile gaining freedom for heroic doctors there
  • 1988 — First to document the Iraqi use of chemical weapons on Kurds providing               evidence for prosecution of war criminals
  • 1996 — Exhumed mass graves in the Balkans and Rwanda to provide evidence for               International Criminal Tribunals
  • 1997 — Shared the Nobel Peace Prize for the International Campaign to Ban Landmines
  • 2003 — Warned US Policymakers on health and human rights conditions prior to and               during the invasion of Iraq
  • 2004 — Documented genocide and sexual violence in Darfur in support of international               prosecutions
  • 2010 — Investigated the epidemic of violence spread by Burma’s military junta
  • 2011 — Championed the principle of noninterference with medical services in times of               armed conflict and civil unrest during the Arab Spring
  • 2012 — Trained doctors, lawyers, police, and judges in the Democratic Republic of the               Congo, Kenya, and Syria on the proper collection of evidence in sexual               violence cases
  • 2013 — Won first prize in the Tech Challenge for Atrocity Prevention with MediCapt, our               mobile app that documents evidence of torture and sexual violence

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