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Surgeon General to deliver healthcare address

Posted: October 6, 2012 - 5:31pm

Arkansas Surgeon General Joe Thompson will present a community informational program discussing the state’s efforts to improve how the health system meets the needs of Arkansans, the impact of the federal healthcare law on these efforts, and what it means for Arkansas and Faulkner County on Monday at 7 p.m., in the Great Hall of the Trinity Building, First United Methodist Church, 1610 Prince St. in Conway.

The topic will include pertinent facts and the most up-to-date information on the act’s implementation locally and across the state, and Arkansas’ innovative approach to improving the healthcare system for all Arkansans. A question and answer session will follow the address. The public is invited, and small business owners, health providers, self-employed, insured, uninsured, and those interested in the future of Medicaid and Medicare are encouraged to attend.

Dr. Thompson’s presentation is a collaborative community service program sponsored by the Arkansas Hospital Association, Conway Regional Health System, the Church and Society Committee of First United Methodist Church, and the Conway Interfaith Clinic.

Dr. Thompson has served in the equivalent role of Surgeon General under Governors Mike Huckabee and Mike Beebe since 2005, with responsibility for developing health policy, research activities and collaborative programs that promote better health and health care in Arkansas. In addition, he is director of the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement, professor in the Colleges of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, and a general pediatrician. He currently serves on the Arkansas Board of Health and is past president of the Arkansas Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Dr. Thompson has led vanguard efforts in planning and implementing health care financing reform, tobacco- and obesity-related health promotion and disease prevention programs. He was the lead architect of the Tobacco Settlement Act of 2000, at the forefront of Arkansas’ nation-leading efforts against childhood obesity, and he instituted the Arkansas Health Insurance Roundtable and helped implement ARHealthNetworks, Arkansas’s health care benefits waiver for low-income workers.

Dr. Thompson earned his medical degree from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Master of Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He served as the RWJF Clinical Scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Luther Terry Fellow in Preventive Medicine advising the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Health in Washington, DC, and the Assistant Vice President and Director of Research at the National Committee for

Quality Assurance in Washington, D.C. In 1997, he served as the First Child and Adolescent Health Scholar of the U.S. Agency for Health Care Policy and Research before returning to Arkansas.

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