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Washington Focus

Since 1998, Wye River Group on Healthcare has conducted policy meetings on retreat at the Aspen Institute's Wye River Conference Center in Queenstown, MD.

These meetings are designed to bring Republican and Democratic congressional staff together with a diverse group of leaders from the employer, insurer, hospital, physician, and pharmaceutical communities, and with health policy, think tank and consumer representatives, including many from outside the Beltway.

The neutral setting and facilitated discussion foster opportunities for open dialogue, leading to improved understanding of each person's perspective. The substance of the discussions is captured in notes that are later shared with, and edited by, all participants.

Past retreats have given rise to actionable "next steps" in the form of reports and white papers. Examples of these products include the "Employer's Guide to Patient Directed Health Benefits," the "Employer's Guide to Pharmaceutical Benefits," the "Aging of America" white paper, and the "IT in Healthcare" white paper. The process has also led to other activities such as congressional briefings and conferences.

The trade and professional associations, governmental agencies and congressional staff with whom WRGH has worked have said they find the process useful in vetting legislation, creating new options, and developing strategic plans. As topics appropriate for this type of activity arise, we will continue to hold retreats at the Aspen Institute as well as meetings and briefings in Washington.

The following list provides examples of our Washington-focused work during the past few years:

  • September 14, 2007   Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic
  • August 5-7, 2007     The Global Exchange, meetings
  • July 18, 2007    Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic meeting
  • June 19-22, 2007    The Global Exchange, meetings
  • June 7, 2007    leadinghealthycommunities.com meeting
  • April 9-11, 2007    NCCR Industry Healthcare Summit meeting developing a shared vision
  • April 4, 2007    NACDS the changing role of community pharmacy
  • April 3, 2007     Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic, meeting to engage disparate stakeholders in a shared vision
  • March 1, 2007    NCCR Industry Healthcare Summit meeting exploring benefits of a shared vision
  • February 13, 2007     21st Century Models of Care meeting discussion on research and development of a ‘white paper’ to illustrate the benefits of multi-disciplinary service delivery models
  • November 28, 2006    21st Century Models of Care meeting strategies to promote multi-disciplinary service delivery models
  • November 13-15, 2006    Mayo Clinic Health Policy Forum, ‘Insurance for all Americans’
  • October 24, 2006    21st Century Models of Care meeting on ‘workforce and education’
  • September 12, 2006     21st Century Models of Care meeting discussions on ‘incentives’.
  • September 13, 2006    International Health discussion co-hosted by WRGH and Kaiser Permanente’s Institute for Health Policy and WRGH
  • June 26, 2006    HAHU discussion of preliminary recommendations from the Citizens Healthcare Work Group
  • May 21-23, 2006    Mayo Clinic, National Symposium on Healthcare Reform
  • May 9, 2006 "A 21st Century Model of Care: Workforce Issues". Click here for agenda, participants and meeting notes.
  • January 9, 2006 "A 21st Century Model of Care: Optimizing Use of Underutilized Services". Click here for agenda, participants and meeting notes.
  • July 15, 2005 "A Dialogue on Access & Coverage: A New Look at an Old Problem". Click here for agenda and attendees. Click here for report.
  • May 12, 2005 Presentation to congressionally created CHCWG on strategies for creating partnerships with trade and professional societies, consumer groups and philanthropies to enhance educational outreach to the American public.
  • February 2, 2005 Congressional briefing on Community Leaders' Blueprint for American Health Care Policy and National Study on Consumer Health Values. Click here for the blueprint; click here for consumer survey; click here for combined report.
  • November 9, 2004 Blueprint for Health Reform meeting. Click here for report "Community Leaders' Blueprint for American Health Care Policy".
  • November 9, 2004 Introduction of the Professor Garfield Foundation health education web portal. Click here for a description.
  • September 23, 2003: A national summit in Washington on the findings of its "Communities Shaping a Vision for America's 21st Century Health & Healthcare" initiative. Click here for the report.
  • August 18-19, 2003: US-Mexico Regional Commission Conference: Border Health Commission/Health Resources and Services Administration Collaboration (WRGH provides planning and facilitation on behalf of HRSA)
  • August 11, 2003: The Food and Drug Administration stakeholder survey meeting (At Commissioner McClellan's request, WRGH conducts a cross-sector meeting designed to bring the goals and objectives of the FDA to the attention of multiple interests and set the tone for collaborative activities.)
  • July 9-11, 2003: A shared vision retreat on "Communities Shaping a Vision for America's 21st Century Health & Healthcare" at Aspen Institute's Wye River Conference Center, Queenstown, MD,
  • June 17, 2003: American Hospital Association Healthcare Leadership Roundtable--Consumers, Washington, DC (WRGH provides planning and facilitation on behalf of AHA)
  • June 16, 2003: American Hospital Association Healthcare Leadership Roundtable--Providers, Washington, DC (WRGH provides planning and facilitation on behalf of AHA)
  • March 20-21, 2003: A meeting on "Implications of an Aging America: 'The Era of Elders'" at Aspen Institute's Wye River Conference Center, Queenstown, MD (Click here for the "white paper")
  • February 4-5, 2003: HRSA Cancer Collaborative: Community Health Center Directors' Planning Meeting (WRGH provides planning and meeting facilitation on behalf of HRSA)
  • December 5-6, 2002: A meeting on "Public Policy Leadership: Shared Values & Principles" at Aspen Institute's Wye River Conference Center, Queenstown, MD (Click here for "Communities Shaping a Vision for America's 21st Century Health & Healthcare")
  • October 21, 2002: "Implications of an Aging America" Provider Sector Meeting in conjunction with The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Washington, DC. (Click here for the report)
  • October 22, 2002: "Implications of an Aging America," Payers and Financial Planners Sector Meeting in conjunction with The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Washington, DC. (Click here for the report)
  • November 6, 2002: "Implications of an Aging America," Employers Sector Meeting in conjunction with The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Washington, DC. (Click here for the report)
  • June 6, 2002: Briefing on congressional and IRS activity impacting patient-directed healthcare, titled "Public Policy and the Marketplace: At a Crossroads," U.S. Capitol Building, Washington, DC
  • February 21-22, 2002: A meeting on "Information Technology: Promise & Perils" at Aspen Institute's Wye River Conference Center, Queenstown, MD (Click here for the "white paper")
  • February 20, 2002: A meeting with Democratic and Republican pollsters, titled "Public Opinion Polling: Past and Present," Washington, DC (Click here for the report)
  • September 9-10, 2001: A meeting on "The Pharmaceutical Conundrum" at Aspen Institute's Wye River Conference Center, Queenstown, MD (Click here for the "Employers Guide to Pharmaceutical Benefits")
  • June 24-25, 2001: A meeting on "Patient-Directed Healthcare: Implications of Newer Financing Models," Aspen Institute Wye River Conference Center, Queenstown, MD (Click here for the "Employers Guide to Patient-Directed Healthcare Benefits")