Tribune Print Share Text

Title

Riderwood residents attend White House health care forum

Meet President, be part of history

Created date

August 1st, 2009
DC_0809_whitehouseforum
DC_0809_whitehouseforum

From left, Bill Muldoon, Shirley Dearfield, Becky Griffin, and Jim Kennedy represented the only senior living community invited to the health care forum. This summer it s all but ' impossible to turn on the ' news or read the paper without ' hearing about President ' Obama s proposed health ' care initiatives. For four ' Riderwood residents who are ' deeply committed to health ' care reform as it relates to the ' senior population, learning ' firsthand what the President ' has planned was a once-in-a-lifetime ' experience. From left, Bill Muldoon, Becky Griffin, Shirley Dearfield, Jim Kennedy sit in the White House East Room during the health care forum. This past June, Shirley ' Dearfield, Becky Griffin, Bill ' Muldoon, and Jim Kennedy ' participated in a White ' House health care forum, ' broadcast by ABC News. ' Riderwood was the only ' senior living organization ' invited to the event, which ' included 164 guests. Being in the White ' House was awesome, says ' Shirley Dearfield, Riderwood ' community member and ' chairperson of the Riderwood ' Resident Advisory ' Council. Sitting in the East ' Room only 12 feet from ' the President of the United ' States is an overwhelming ' feeling and not easily ' described. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience to take ' part in a forum that is of ' great interest to us and to ' everyone, no matter what ' their age. Important issues Medical care for all ' Americans is a matter of personal ' and national security, ' says Kennedy. America is no ' longer a frontier nation. It is ' a large and complex village. ' We are all in this together. ' We Americans spend far ' more than other modern ' nations for medical care, but ' we are not healthier. Medical ' care is not the place to ' exercise our rugged individualism. ' Keeping us all physically ' fit is, or should be, the ' concern of each and every ' one of us. As a community built ' and managed by Erickson, ' Riderwood is able to offer ' Erickson Health, a prevention- ' focused health care ' model, to its residents. I believe the Erickson ' Health model focuses ' on prevention as a means ' of reducing health costs, ' Muldoon says. This is an ' approach the country can ' benefit from exploring, and ' I would like to know if the ' reforms will make prevention ' a priority. I feel that the Erickson ' Health model affords ' people the opportunity ' to live a longer and more ' vibrant life, thus reducing ' health care costs, Dearfield ' says. When it comes to the ' reform, I m interested in the ' issue of possible changes to ' the Medicare policies and ' reimbursements. Meeting the President In addition to taking ' part in the forum, all four of ' the Riderwood participants ' enjoyed the opportunity to ' speak with President Obama ' and shake his hand. Although ' they all prepared a ' health care-related question ' to ask the President, none ' were chosen during the ' broadcast. I was in awe, says Griffin. When he approached ' us, we talked to him about ' Riderwood and told him ' where we are located. He ' was very charming and affable. ' You can tell that he is ' interested in really connecting ' with people. We also informed ' President Obama that Riderwood ' was very close to the ' White House and perhaps ' he should visit our campus ' to view our senior living ' lifestyle in person, says ' Dearfield.

Comments