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Contact: Katie Peters

Over 130 Organizations Join in Support of Berwick to Lead CMS


Washington D.C. – Today, a coalition of over 130 organizations joined together to voice support for the nomination of Donald M. Berwick. M.D., M.P.P., to Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) at the Department of Health and Human Services.

An accomplished pediatrician, Dr. Berwick is a leading expert on health care quality, health delivery systems, and health system transformation issues. Dr. Berwick currently serves as President and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement; he is Clinical Professor of Pediatrics and Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School and Professor of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health.

In a letter to senate leadership spearheaded by First Focus, a bipartisan children’s advocacy organization, the coalition draws attention to the important role CMS will play in ensuring that crucial improvements included in the new health reform legislation become a reality for America’s children. The organizations believe Dr. Berwick’s extensive background and expertise in children’s health policy issues make him uniquely qualified to fulfill this position.

The letter is signed by 132 national, state, and local organizations, including First Focus, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Children’s Defense Fund, the National Association of Community Health Centers, the Center for Medicare Advocacy, and SEIU.

“Dr. Berwick is a renowned expert in improving the quality of health care delivery and in saving lives through the reduction of medical errors. It is for these reasons that his appointment is supported by a wide range of nonpartisan national, state, and local organizations,” said Bruce Lesley, president of First Focus. “The unprecedented appointment of a pediatrician to this position will mean that Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program – programs vital to the health and well-being of our nation’s children – will not be neglected under his leadership.”

The letter reads, “Dr. Berwick’s long history as a pediatrician working to advance health care access and coverage for our nation’s children – including experience in academia, as a research professional, as a clinician, and as a policy advisor – make him an ideal candidate to lead CMS. He is a highly regarded health expert, and we believe that Dr. Berwick demonstrates a unique and very broad set of professional experiences. We strongly support his nomination.”