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Health Care Reform & the Role of Social Workers: BC Grad. School of Social Work Forum: Feb. 24

gubernatorial candidate charlie baker to deliver keynote

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. (February 2014) — Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate and former Harvard Pilgrim Health Care CEO Charles D. Baker Jr. will present the keynote address at “Health Care Reform: From Policy to Practice,” a Feb. 24 forum sponsored by the Boston College Graduate School of Social Work (GSSW). His address will be followed by a Q&A.

Charlie Baker

In addition to the talk by Baker, the event will feature a panel discussion on the roles social workers can – and should ­– play as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) begins to exert a greater influence on the health care landscape. National Association of Social Workers CEO Angelo McClain, former commissioner for the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, will serve as moderator.

“Health Care Reform” takes place from 1:15 - 4 p.m. in the Heights Room of Corcoran Commons and is free and open to the public (registration is required).

“It is crucial for social workers to be engaged in health care reform,” said forum organizer GSSW Associate Professor of Macro Practice Marylou Sudders, former Massachusetts Commissioner of Mental Health. “One of the key aspects of the ACA is it promotes the integration of physical and behavioral health care – treating the whole person, not just managing symptoms. Social work, as a unique discipline that combines clinical and policy practice, stands to make a vital contribution to this new era of health care. We feel this forum will show how social work is integral to the success of health care reform.”

Sudders said the forum will benefit from the presence of Baker, whose extensive experience in the public and private sectors includes serving as secretary of administration and finance under two governors and more recently as an entrepreneur-in-residence at the venture capital firm General Catalyst Partners. Baker’s keynote speech is titled “Social Work and Health Care – One View of the Future.”

“Health care access, quality and cost are pressing issues in the Commonwealth and across the nation,” said Sudders, who serves on the Commonwealth’s Health Policy Commission. “Charlie has impressive credentials, having led Harvard Pilgrim to become the top-ranked health plan in the US. He knows the public and private aspects of health care. So the opportunity to hear his perspective on health care reform, as he campaigns to be the Commonwealth’s next governor, will be of great interest to the public as well as to practitioners.”

The panel discussion will offer a “boots on the ground” view of social work in the ACA era, added Sudders. The four panelists are all trained social workers involved in innovative pilot programs and initiatives that use the integrated physical-behavioral health model to address physical and mental health-related issues such as addiction.

The panelists are:

Carol Kress, Chief Operating Officer, Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership

Mary Neagle, Co-director, Integrative Care Management Program (iCMP), Partners Health Care

Rebecca Osario, Clinical Social Worker, Integrated Care Management Program, Massachusetts General Hospital

J. Scott Turton, Director of Primary Care Integration and Electronic Medical Records Implementation, Gosnold on Cape Cod.


Media Contact: Ed Hayward, Office of News & Public Affairs,, 617-552-4826