Health care seminar set for Friday in Craig

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Susan E. Birch, RN

Craig residents will have an opportunity to hear a politically neutral presentation on Obamacare and it's impacts Friday.

Susan E. Birch, RN, appointed executive director of the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing by Governor John Hickenlooper in January 2011, will speak about health care reform from 1-3 p.m. Friday in the Craig City Council Chambers at the city building, 300 W. Fourth St.

Often referred to as Obamacare, the seminar, “Health Care Reform and How it will Impact You,” aims to help navigate what can become a muddled view of health care reform as a result of an overwhelming amount of available information and opinion, and turn it into something comprehensible.

As executive director of the Health Care Policy and Financing department, Birch guides the department’s efforts to improve the health of Medicaid and CHP+ clients, increasing access to care and managing costs.

The department is responsible for administering the Medicaid and Child Health Plan Plus programs, along with other programs for Colorado’s low-income families, the elderly and disabled persons.

“Regardless of what party you belong to, the health and well being of our children and neighbors affects everyone," Birch said. "Health impacts all of us. Healthy people cost us a lot less than sick ones do.”

The Moffat County Council on Aging, the Craig Daily Press and Cathy Vanatta, Moffat County Council on Aging delegate, extended the invitation to bring Birch to Craig.

Craig Daily Press Editor/Publisher Bryce Jacobson said he felt inviting Birch to Craig was a no-brainer.

"Health care reform is something that will impact each and every one of us, whether we like it or not," Jacobson said. "We owe it to ourselves to be as informed as possible."

Birch said she is excited to come home to Northwest Colorado and share her knowledge on health care, adding she looks forward to talking with the community she served.

“In the U.S., and certainly in Colorado, we are undergoing the most significant health care advancements of most of our lifetimes,” Birch said.

Darian Warden can be reached at 875-1793 or dwarden@craigdailypress.com

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