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Bush Administration Health Officials Visit Medical Center

Three of the nation’s top doctors visited The Ohio State University Medical Center Wednesday, August 13 to promote the need for strengthening Medicare as part of the “Better Benefits Tour.”

Bush administration health officials
From left: OSUMC's Sanfilippo is joined by federal health officials McClellan (FDA), Gerberding (CDC), and Zerhouni (NIH)

The visit featured Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Dr. Mark McClellan, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration; and Dr. Elias Zerhouni, director of the National Institutes of Health, in a rare combined appearance outside Washington, D.C., where the tour began.

The three discussed with Dr. Fred Sanfilippo, senior vice president for Health Sciences and dean of OSU’s College of Medicine and Public Health, and other health system leaders President Bush’s plans to provide stronger health care for seniors.

Also participating in the discussions was U.S. Representative Deborah Pryce. Other stops on the tour include St. Paul/Minneapolis, Kansas City, Louisville and Pittsburgh. The tour is taking place as the House-Senate Medicare Conference Committee continues to meet and develop a single compromise Medicare bill that can pass both houses of Congress and be signed by the president.

Senior citizens, Medical Center staff and other attendees of the session with the Bush administration officials also heard a presentation by Dr. William Abraham, director of cardiovascular medicine at the OSU Heart Center, about an implantable device that provides around-the-clock, real-time monitoring of the heart in patients with chronic heart failure. Abraham is a lead investigator in a national study determining the effectiveness of the monitor in improving treatment of patients with heart failure by making crucial heart data readily available to doctors.

Following the presentation, the doctors participated in a news conference attended by Medical Center staff, guests and news media.