Forum to offer context, perspective on health care debate

Faculty, staff and students are invited to attend a forum focused on health care in the United States. The forum will be held from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27, in the O'Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium, St. Paul campus.

This forum is designed to provide a framework for understanding the nation’s current health care conversation without the rhetorical excess. It is not designed to tell anyone what they should think, but rather provide context for the discussion in terms of faith and citizenship in accordance with the mission of St. Thomas. 

Three members of the UST community who have experience and perspective on the issue will speak:

Sen. Dave Durenberger
Durenberger, Health Care MBA and director of the National Institute for Health Policy, has spent a lifetime working in the world of politics and public affairs, including service in the U.S. Senate from 1978 to 1995. Durenberger was particularly interested and involved in the development of health care policy while in office. His perspective as a legislator and policymaker is enhanced by an understanding of the differences between American attitudes toward health policy and the attitudes of other developed nations.

Dr. Paul Wojda
Health and healing – the desire for wholeness, physically and spiritually – is central to most faith traditions. Wojda, Theology Department, has studied, taught and written about the intersection between medicine and faith – and will provide context for an understanding of the health care debate from a theological perspective. 

Dan McLaughlin
McLaughlin is director of the UST Center for Health and Medical Affairs. Prior to his academic experience, he was in hospital administration as CEO of the Hennepin County Medical Center. He has also been director of Health Policy for Hennepin County. McLaughlin has a deep understanding of the legislation that is currently under debate and the ways it compares to existing law and policy.

The panel members will each speak and then take questions. This forum is intended to provide enlightened perspective on fundamental questions: 

  • Why are we talking about health care in America? 
  • Is health care a social good or a right or a commodity? 
  • As a community of faith, what special perspective do we have on these questions?

This forum will introduce other topics for similar community sessions on issues related to citizenship and faith in our world. Attendees will be given an opportunity to complete a survey about prospective issues for future sessions.

For more information e-mail Father John Malone, Office for Mission.