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Wellmont, law school to host health care reform law forum

March 25th, 2012 10:58 pm by staff report

BRISTOL — Some of the most influential minds in health care, law and insurance will gather for a public forum on federal health care reform on April 9 at Bristol Regional Medical Center.

Wellmont Health System and the Appalachian School of Law will sponsor the forum on the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed two years ago. The forum will take place two weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments challenging, and defending, the constitutionality of the federal act.

“As a regional, state, and national leader in high-quality patient care, Bristol Regional is honored to host such a high-caliber examination of the law and its effect on the delivery of health care and the communities we serve,” said Bart Hove, the hospital’s president.

“This event represents an excellent opportunity for people to become more informed about the law so they can express their views and help shape the future of health care in this country.”

The forum will be in the hospital’s Monarch Auditorium from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and feature presentations from seven panelists including Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, Virginia Court of Appeals Judge Stephen McCullough, Wellmont President and CEO Denny DeNarvaez, Wellmont CVA Heart Institute President Dr. Jerry Blackwell, National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors Vice President of Federal Government Relations Diane Boyle, and ASL constitutional law professors Stewart Harris and Doug McKechnie.

David Bailey, host of “This Week in Richmond,” a public affairs program about state issues on Blue Ridge PBS, will serve as the forum’s moderator.

“The new health care statute is one of the most significant pieces of federal legislation in years,” Bailey said. “The legal challenges are serious, and a closely divided Supreme Court could rule either way on the statute’s constitutionality. The court’s ultimate decision will likely have a wide-ranging impact on the delivery and cost of health care in the United States for decades to come.”

ASL Dean Wes Shinn said his school, located in Grundy, welcomes the chance to participate.

The law school is “proud to continue a tradition of partnering with regional institutions of legal significance,” he said. “We look forward to facilitating a civil debate on health care reform and its far-reaching implications, legal and otherwise.”

Bristol Regional will broadcast the forum to the ASL campus for students who cannot attend. Other organizations interested in having the event transmitted should contact Ron Carrier at Bristol Regional at (423) 844-3945. The hospital will also stream the event on

Others who wish to discuss the forum and health care reform can join the conversation on Twitter at #wellmonthealthforum or by following @wellmonthealth. For those who attend, a reception with refreshments will be held afterwards in the hospital’s Conference Center.

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