SHSU To Host Non-Partisan Seminar On Health Care

April 1, 2010
SHSU Media Contact: Jennifer Gauntt

Sam Houston State University’s Political Engagement Project committee will present a non-partisan look at health care reform with an interactive roundtable discussion on Wednesday (April 7).

“Health Care in America,” a “Hot Topics” series discussion, will be held from 7-9 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Theater.

Panelists Sally Nelson, Kim Monday and Ed Blackburne will discuss the impact of the recent health care legislation on Americans. The event will be moderated by James Olson.

“President Obama’s recent legislation is likely to have an enormous impact on Americans, and we wanted to host a discussion panel to explore that impact,” PEP Chair Stacy Ulbig said.

“Health care is an issue that affects everyone at every stage in their lives,” she said. “This major health care reform effort has left many people concerned and confused about the future of health care in America.”

The speakers and moderator were chosen for their expertise on different aspects of the new health care legislation, as well as their ability to communicate to broad audiences.

“Each panelist will provide a different perspective on the issue of health care,” Ulbig said. “Dr. Monday will provide the perspective of both a practicing physician and a legislative liaison.

“As director of the hospital here in town, Ms. Nelson can speak about the challenges health care administrators face, and Dr. Blackburne, with a wealth of experience in economics, will address the costs of health care, both individual and societal,” she said. “Additionally, our moderator, Dr. Olson, has researched the history of health care and will be able to set the panelists remarks in context.”

Nelson has worked in the health care field for almost 25 years, working for the Texas Children’s Hospital and currently serving as CEO of the Huntsville Memorial Hospital.

Monday, a neurologist with the Houston Neurological Institute, graduated from Baylor College of Medicine in 1992 and is active in the American Medical Association, the Texas Neurological Society Board, and the Harris County Medical Society.

Blackburne, SHSU associate professor of economics, received his doctorate from Texas A&M University and has published on topics as diverse as racial profiling, statistics, energy, immigration, and diabetes.

Olson, a Distinguished Professor of history, has authored or coauthored more than 40 books, including A History of Cancer and Bathsheba’s Breast: Women, Cancer, and History.

“The speakers have distinguished themselves in their fields,” said PEP member Bill Green. “We are fortunate to bring panelists of this caliber onto campus, and I look forward to their discussion.”

The seminar, which is open to the public, will consist of brief presentations by the speakers, followed by a question and answer period.

In addition, throughout the week, the PEP will host screenings of a film entitled "Critical Condition," which takes a look at the challenges faced by individuals when trying to deal with the health care system.

Scheduled showings include Monday (April 5) at 3:30 p.m., Tuesday (April 6) at 5 p.m., April 12 at 3:30 p.m., and Tuesday (April 13) at 5 p.m. All will be held in Academic Building IV Room 220, which is the Olson Auditorium.

For more information on the seminar, contact Ulbig at or 936.294.1468, or for more information on the movie screening, contact Tracy Szymczak, civic engagement coordinator, at


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