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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 30, 2005

Health Policy Expert Selected As 2005 Hansen Award Recipient

The University of Iowa College of Public Health has named Sara Rosenbaum the recipient of the 2005 Richard and Barbara Hansen Leadership Award and Distinguished Lectureship. Rosenbaum is nationally known for her work in health policy, particularly those aspects that address access to health care for low-income, minority and medically underserved populations.

Rosenbaum is the Harold and Jane Hirsh Professor of Health Law and Policy and chair of the Department of Health Policy at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services. She also directs the Hirsh Health Law and Policy Program and the Center for Health Services Research and Policy and holds appointments in the Schools of Medicine and Health Sciences and Law.

During her Oct. 26-28 visit to the UI campus, Rosenbaum will meet with students, faculty, and local and state leaders to discuss childhood health service policy, Medicaid and current challenges facing the nation's health care system.

At noon on Oct. 27, Rosenbaum will deliver the Hansen Distinguished Lecture, tentatively titled "Medicaid and the 109th Congress." Her presentation also serves as the keynote lecture for a statewide conference addressing the integration of early childhood health systems in Iowa.

Later that afternoon, Rosenbaum will present a public lecture, "The Quest for Fairness in Health Care: A Nation at the Crossroads," at 3:30 p.m. in Room 2117 of the Medical Education and Biomedical Research Facility (MERF) on the UI campus.

"The topics of her presentations on equity in health care policy, especially in regard to children and Medicaid, are critical state and national priorities," said James Merchant, dean of the College of Public Health. "We are very pleased to honor Sara Rosenbaum with the Hansen Award and to host her on campus as she shares her perspectives on these important issues."

Rosenbaum has played a major role in the design of federal and state legislative and regulatory health policy in a wide range of areas, including Medicaid, private health insurance and employee health benefits, health services for medically underserved persons, maternal and child health, civil rights and public health. She worked for the White House Domestic Policy Council in 1993 and 1994, during which time she directed the drafting of the Health Security Act for President Clinton and oversaw the development of the Vaccines for Children program.

She serves on numerous national organizational boards and has served as an advisor on many governmental and private sector health policy initiatives. She is co-author of "Law and the American Health Care System" (Foundation Press, New York, N.Y.), a widely used health law textbook, and she is a recipient of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator Award in Health Policy Research.

Rosenbaum has been named one of America's most influential health policymakers and has been recognized by the United States Department of Health and Human Services for distinguished national service on behalf of Medicaid beneficiaries.

The Hansen Award, and an accompanying $10,000 honorarium, is given annually by the College of Public Health to honor individuals who have made sustained contributions in the health field. The award recognizes exemplary leadership, high ethical standards and an enduring commitment to improving health care on a national and international level. The award is made possible by a gift from Richard and Barbara Hansen of Iowa City. The Hansen's gift, made in 2000, was the first contribution in the College of Public Health's Founding Partner program.

For more information about the Hansen Award, visit

STORY SOURCE: The University of Iowa College of Public Health, Office of Communications, 4257 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Dan McMillan, 319-335-6835,; Debra Venzke, 319-335-9647,

NOTE TO EDITORS: Sara Rosenbaum will be available to speak with reporters from 11 to 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 27, in the Johnson 1 Room of the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Iowa City. Rosenbaum's formal remarks begin at noon in the Main Ballroom of the Sheraton Hotel. Reporters are invited to attend the lecture.