RI delegation message and lieutenant governor to headline health care forum, Dec. 10

Providence, RI — December 2, 2009 — Rhode Island for Community and Justice (RICJ), University of Rhode Island and the Providence Human Relations Commission jointly present “Health Care As A Human Right and the Current Debate on Health Care Reform”, Thursday, December 10, 5 pm, at the University of Rhode Island Feinstein Providence Campus, Paff Auditorium, 80 Washington Street in Providence.

A vocal proponent for health care access among the RI Elected officials, Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Roberts will join Rhode Island health advocates, providers and community people for a roundtable discussion. Senators Reed and Whitehouse and Congressmen Kennedy and Langevin will open the forum with pre-taped remarks about the current debate in Washington, DC on Health Care reform followed by discussion.

Invited local experts will each give a two minute statement. Confirmed panelists include Shawn Donahue, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island; Dr. Nick Tsiongas, HealthRIght; Dr. Michael Fine, HealthAccessRI; Carrie Bridges, Rhode Island Department of Health and Andrew Douglass, Esq., RICJ Board Member; who was an architect of the agency’s “Statement of Principles for Health Care Reform” and Community College of Rhode Island student, Camblin Reyes, who will give her personal account of being ill without medical coverage. The panel will be moderated by Brandon Melton, RICJ Board of Directors and Lifespan.

Established 60 years ago by the United Nations to recognize the inherent dignity and equal rights of all humans, Human Rights Day serves as backdrop for this forum. “In arguments over specific bills or proposals for reforming the health care system,” says RICJ Executive Director, Dr. Toby Ayers, “we may lose sight of the values that underlie this debate. For RICJ, healthcare is a fundamental human right.”

The event is free. For further information on the Forum please call RICJ at 401-467-1717 x 101 or visit www.ricj.org.