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UVa offers a national dialogue on health care in a free online course

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The Office of Communications at UVa announced today that the Department of Public Health Sciences in the University’s School of Medicine will offer a free “webinar” course – a seminar that makes use of the internet – on the topic of health care, to both UVa students and community members.

The series begins on January 23, 2014 and runs for a total of 14 weeks. The guest lecturers who will be featured are considered to be among the best of the country’s health policy experts.

Among the presenters, will be Gerald Anderson of Johns Hopkins University, David Blumenthal of Commonwealth Fund, Marc Boom from Houston Methodist Hospital, Tsung-Mei Cheng of Princeton University, Carolyn Clancy of the Department of Veterans Affairs, David Goodman of Dartmouth College, Harlan Krumholz of Yale University, Mark McClellan of Brookings Institution, John McDonough of Harvard University, Sean Nicholson of Cornell University, Uwe Reinhardt of Princeton University, Sara Rosenbaum of George Washington University and William Stead of Vanderbilt University.

Carolyn Engelhard, director of UVa’s Health Policy Program and Dr. Arthur “Tim” Garson, director of the Center for Health Policy at UVa co-moderate the weekly lectures; and co-founded the series earlier this year Englehard notes that the speakers in the series – for those who are experts involved in health policy, these are “the big hitters.”

The series is funded by the Center for Health Policy within the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, and will include students from within the UVa community and other universities, including Cornell, Vanderbilt and the University of Texas at Austin; and because each of the one-hour seminars is intentionally focused on answering questions, it offers a unique experience of interactivity and “collaborative learning.”

There are 30 UVa students who take part as a supplement to their usual “in-person” course, as do the students from the partnering schools and they are already familiar with the topics that are to be discussed.

For those from the community who care to participate, the series does not include any tests; although in order to get the most from the series there are weekly readings offered in preparation for that week’s guest lecturer’s topic and the opportunity is offered to ask questions of the guest lecturers based on the readings.

For those who follow the national dialogue of health policy – whether in school or not – the free experience and discussion between experts and amateurs is incomparable, Engelhard points out that whether or not one is in school or not, the experience of having this kind of discussion and dialogue among experts in health policy is unparalleled:

“It creates a great sense of collegiality. It’s not just student-to-student, the classroom becomes more virtual, less walls, it’s just a richer experience for everybody.”

In order to sign up for the Health Care series, sponsored by the Department of Public Health Sciences, contact Carolyn Engelhard, director of UVa’s Health Policy Program via email, at cle6z@virginia.edu.

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