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Riderwood residents attend White House health care forum

Meet President, be part of history

Created date

August 1st, 2009

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.