<p>Brown University health care experts are available to comment on President Barack Obama’s ongoing health care reform agenda.</p>

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Brown University health care experts will be following President Barack Obama’s health care reform plans closely in coming months. They will be available for interview and commentary on reform initiatives.

During the presidential campaign, Obama officials estimated the effort would cost as much as $65 billion a year once it is fully implemented. Obama wants to focus on health care quality, making care more affordable, expanding coverage, and investing in health information technology to increase efficiency and reduce errors.

Here are some Brown experts and their particular areas of expertise relating to health care reform. For additional information or to arrange interviews, contact David Orenstein, media specialist for life sciences, at (401) 863-1862.

Health and politics:  Jim Morone
Morone, chair of Brown University’s Political Science Department, recently co-authored The Heart of Power: Health and Politics in the Oval Office, which will be published in April 2009 by California Press. He also recently co-authored an article in the New England Journal of Medicine that urges President Obama to study President Lyndon Johnson’s historic enactment of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965. That effort was the only major expansion of health insurance coverage in U.S. history.

Primary care delivery systems:  Michael Fine, M.D.
Fine is a clinical assistant professor of family medicine at the Alpert Medical School. He served on the National Health Policy Council, which advised or spoke for the Obama presidential campaign on health policy. Locally, Fine is managing director of HealthAccessRI, the nation’s first statewide organization that makes prepaid reduced fee-for-service primary care available to people without employer-provided insurance. He also has served on a number of Rhode Island legislative committees focused on primary care and health care reform.

Long term care and health care financing:  Vincent Mor
Mor is a professor and chair of the Department of Community Health in the Alpert Medical School. His research, including work funded by more than 20 NIH grants, focuses on the quality of nursing home care, Medicare funding for post-acute care, disease management for cancer patients, and what determines a hospitalization. He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed articles and a number of books and other works on hospice, physical functioning, long-term care, and cancer treatment programs among the elderly.

Heath disparities and quality of care:  Amal Trivedi, M.D.
Trivedi is a general internist and health services researcher who studies racial and ethnic disparities in health care as well as quality of care. His research has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association and Health Affairs. He is  assistant professor of medical science in the Department of Community Health at the Alpert Medical School.

Geriatrics and quality of care:  Richard Besdine, M.D.
Besdine is the Greer Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the Alpert Medical School and director of the University’s Center for Gerontology and Healthcare Research. He is also chief of geriatrics for the Lifespan system of hospitals in Rhode Island. Besdine has served on the Harvard Medical School faculty and is a veteran of the Clinton administration. From 1995 to 1998, he served as chief medical officer and director of the Health Standards and Quality Bureau for the Health Care Financing Administration, where he helped set standards for government enforcement and improvement of health care quality for 70 million Medicare and Medicaid patients.

End of life care:  Joan Teno, M.D.
Teno is a professor of community health and medicine at the Alpert Medical School. She also serves as associate director of Brown’s Center for Gerontology and Health Care Research. Her focus is on measuring and evaluating quality of medical care for seriously ill and dying patients.

Veterans care/drug addiction:  Peter Friedman, M.D.
Friedman is a professor of medicine and community health in the Department of Community Health at the Alpert Medical School. He also directs the research section in the Division of General Internal Medicine at Rhode Island Hospital and runs the Center on Systems, Outcomes and Quality in Chronic Disease and Rehabilitation at the Providence VA Medical Center.

Primary care and family medicine:  Jeffrey Borkan, M.D.
Borkan is professor and chair of the Department of Family Medicine at the Alpert Medical School. His research focuses on doctor-patient communication, public participation in health policy decisions, and medical education. Borkan has investigated common problems in primary care.