A note of gratitude to our partners in the ACA Implementation Initiative

In 2010, shortly after the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a conversation started in South Carolina to envision ways to improve health for everyone in our state.  Under the banner of what was then the SC Public Health Institute, we invited stakeholders with varying interests and opinions to come together and begin the process of understanding the health care reform legislation.  For the last two years, that conversation around reform has continued through nine workgroups focused on the key components of the Affordable Care Act.  Nearly 250 of you, our friends and colleagues, have come together in dozens of meetings to explore the many aspects of the law, study the requirements and analyze the implications for our state.  We have worked together to secure available resources to enhance prevention programs, seek real improvements in access to care and aspire to the goal of better health outcomes.  This collective effort, which engaged representatives from more than 100 organizations from across South Carolina, was truly impressive.  Each of you invested your time and talent to advance the dialogue in our state while never losing sight of the need to overcome differences of opinion and work together to improve the health of all South Carolinians.

As we reach the mid-point of 2012, the health care reform workgroups are now coming to an end.  It would have been hard to imagine at the beginning of this journey that the planned completion of this work would occur in the same week as the landmark Supreme Court decision upholding the law.  Although that decision and the ending of the workgroups will not stop the conversation around reform, these milestones do signify the beginning of a new phase in our collaborative work to improve health outcomes in our state.  As the SC Institute of Medicine and Public Health, we look forward to working with you in new ways to foster dialogue and collectively inform policy to improve health and health care.

In marking the end of Affordable Care Act Implementation Initiative, our final and most important task is to say “thank you.”  We thank you for your active involvement in so many meetings and for helping to shape this important effort every step of the way.  From the very beginning, each of you contributed your unique perspectives and keen abilities to this initiative, and for that we are truly grateful.  We are especially grateful for the leadership provided by those individuals who stepped forward to chair each of the workgroups.  Their enduring commitment added real momentum to this initiative and elevated the discourse for us all.  Of course, none of this would have been possible without our founding partners from SC Healthcare Voices and the significant financial support we received from The Duke Endowment.  It is the combination of all of these factors that allowed this to be a truly meaningful process.

In the coming weeks, we will be compiling a report summarizing this initiative and highlighting some of the various activities that occurred across the nine workgroups.  We look forward to sharing that report with you.  Until then, we thank you once again for all that you have done—and continue to do—to  improve the health and quality of life for all South Carolinians.

With gratitude,

Joseph L. (Lee) Pearson, MS, DrPH
Director of Operations

Maya H. Pack, MS, MPA
Associate Director, Research & Strategic Initiatives

Megan A. Weis, DrPH, MPH, MCHES
Associate Director, Outreach & Program Development

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