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The College of Public Health Hosts the 71st Human Services Institute

Posted Mar. 25, 2013
enter photo description
Barbara Edwards, director of the Disabled
and Elderly Health Programs Group at the
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, will
keynote the Human Services Institute
conference at Kent State on March 25.

The Human Services Institute, Northeast Ohio's longest-running institute focused on health and human services, comes to Kent State University from 10 a.m. to noon on March 25 in the Kent Student Center Kiva auditorium.

The event will be keynoted by Barbara Edwards, director of the Disabled and Elderly Health Programs Group at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. Edwards will present on the topic, “Health Reform: Opportunities, Challenges and Uncertainties.”

Edwards is a nationally recognized expert in Medicaid policy, including managed care, cost containment, long-term care, and state and federal health care reform. She served for eight years as the Ohio State Medicaid director and was a principal with Health Management Associates, Inc. (HMA) for four years. At HMA, Edwards focused on Medicaid, national health reform and service delivery for persons with chronic and disabling conditions.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid administers the Medicare, Medicaid and State Children's Health Insurance programs for the federal government. The Disabled and Elderly Health Programs Group houses Medicaid coverage and care coordination for the elderly and individuals with disabilities. This includes initiatives to promote community-based care options and to enhance the availability of long-term services and supports. The group manages the Medicaid prescription drug benefit and manufacturer rebates and oversees benefits issues across the Medicaid program.

Ken Slenkovich
, assistant dean of Kent State’s College of Public Health, helped organize the event.

“This is the 71st anniversary for this event put on by the Center for Community Solutions (CCS) in Cleveland,” Slenkovich says. “The CCS is a major community partner of the college.  It's the first time they've held this event in Kent. Since we're bringing in a speaker from the federal government that is deeply involved with the health care reform bill, we see it as a way to get some exposure for the College of Public Health and inform the university and external communities about how the bill will impact them.”

Following the keynote address, panel presentations will be made by Marcia Egbert, senior program officer for human services, The George Gund Foundation; Joan Englund, executive director, Mental Health Advocacy Coalition; Joseph Ruby, president and CEO, Area Agency on Aging; and Heather Torok, senior program officer for Healthy People, Urban Health and Well-Being, Saint Luke’s Foundation.

The event is open to faculty, students, staff and community members interested in how health reform will affect them and Northeast Ohio. Attendance is free, but registration is required.

To register for the event, visit

For more information about the Human Services Institute, visit