Donald Berwick headshotDonald Berwick, former administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services who helped guide early implementation of health reform, will deliver the keynote address during the opening session of APHA’s Midyear Meeting in June.

During his tenure as the nation’s top Medicare official, Berwick led efforts to improve quality of care in the nation’s health system. According to the Washington Post, he “oversaw the rollout of crucial health reform regulations” that promise to reshape Medicare and the private insurance industry. His agency also drafted the rules for health insurance exchanges, where, beginning in 2014, Americans will be able to purchase health insurance.

The Nation’s Health reported in its March 2012 issue that “during his time at the agency, Berwick oversaw numerous improvements to Medicare made under the Affordable Care Act, including expansion of preventive screening services, changes to prescription drug benefits and better coordination of care for participants.”

“Dr. Berwick was uniquely positioned during the early days of health reform to help guide the transformation of our nation’s health system,” said Georges Benjamin, executive director of APHA. “He’s passionate about improving access to quality care. He will bring tremendous insight to our meeting.”

Berwick began his career as a pediatrician and later served as professor at the schools of public health and medicine at Harvard University. He’s a known leader and innovator on quality improvement in health care and is co-founder of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

Appointed by President Barack Obama in 2010, Berwick resigned in December facing opposition to his Senate confirmation.

In his conference remarks, Berwick will focus on the tremendous unrealized potential in the delivery of health care and its impact on the public health system. He will also present a vision of how America can forge a health system that satisfies “our patients, our wallets and our moral imperative” to care for those in need.

Registration for APHA’s Midyear Meeting — The New Public Health: Rewiring for the Future — to be held in Charlotte, N.C., June 26-28, is now open.