Donna Shalala to Give Thier Lecture

Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna E. Shalala will deliver the Samuel O. Thier, M.D. Lecture on Health Policy on Thursday, Oct. 7, at 8:30 a.m., in Yale Medical School’s Fitkin Amphitheatre, 330 Cedar Street Entrance.

Shalala will speak on “Keeping the Promise: Strengthening Medicare for the 21st Century.” The lecture is free and open to the public. Members of the media may view the lecture in Harkness Auditorium, 333 Cedar Street.

The Samuel O. Thier, M.D. Lecture was established in 1997 in honor of Dr. Thier’s role as a major spokesperson on health policy and its impact on academic institutions. Dr. Thier served eleven years as chair of the department of internal medicine at Yale University School of Medicine, where he was a Sterling Professor of medicine. He currently serves as chief executive officer of Partners HealthCare Systems, Inc.

Past Samuel O. Thier speakers include Dr. David Kessler, dean of the Yale School of Medicine and Dr. William Kelley, chief executive officer and dean of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

Donna Shalala is the longest serving Secretary of Health and Human Services in U.S. history. She joined the Clinton administration in January 1993 and since then has led the administration’s efforts to reform the welfare system and improve health care while containing health costs.

In her six years as secretary, the department has guided the approval of the Children’s Health Insurance Plan, raised child immunization rates to the highest levels in history, led the fight against youth tobacco use, and crusaded for streamlined processes for approving new drugs to treat AIDS and other diseases. She has also redefined the role of Health and Human Services Secretary, partnering with businesses and other private sector organizations to extend the department’s public health and education mission. She appeared in a “milk mustache” advertisement to promote the prevention of osteoporosis, threw the opening pitch for the Baltimore Orioles’ season as part of a campaign to separate baseball from smokeless tobacco, and appeared in an online chat on the WNBA’s web site to discuss breast cancer prevention.

Prior to her appointment as secretary, Shalala was chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1988 to 1993, where she spearheaded a $225 million program to renovate and add to the university’s research complex. In 1992, Business Week named her one of the top five managers in higher education.

Shalala has more than two dozen honorary degrees and a host of other honors, including the 1992 National Public Service Award and the Glamour Magazine Woman of the Year Award in 1994. She has been elected to the National Academy of Education, the National Academy of Public Administration and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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Karen N. Peart:, 203-980-2222