University of Chicago federal relations office adds health policy advocate

July 1, 2010

William A. Garner, DRPH, joined the University of Chicago's Office of Federal Relations on June 1 as a Director of Federal Relations, a new position focusing on federal issues impacting academic medicine, biomedical research, the training of health professionals, the delivery of health care to Chicago's South Side, and the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Garner comes to the University from his role as legislative director in the office of Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy (D-RI). In that position he served as the chief policy advisor on health care, education, energy and environmental policy matters. Prior to that, as a professional staff member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, he worked on public health policies related to antimicrobial resistance, aging, health care access, clinical research, health workforce development, health equity and disparities.

"Garner combines a solid understanding of health issues and public policy with considerable experience in the legislative process," said Everett Vokes, MD, Interim Chief Executive Officer of the University of Chicago Medical Center and Interim Dean of the Biological Sciences Division and the Pritzker School of Medicine.

"He has the tools to help educate those who make policy about the challenges and the goals of those who provide and study health care, as well as the more specific needs of the University of Chicago Medical Center as it strives to improve the quality of and access to health care in the widely varied neighborhoods around the University." Garner joins the university at a time of unprecedented change in both the training of health professionals and the delivery of health care following the recent enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PL 111-148).

Garner has studied and participated in health care delivery and public policy from many points of view. He earned his masters and doctorate degrees in public health--with a focus on health management, administration and policy--from the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth, TX. He completed a fellowship in the Fort Worth Public Health Department, working on health promotion and education. He also worked on projects involving public health, HIV/AIDS outreach, and an initiative to improve patient care in Tarrant County, Texas.

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