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CGU President to advise new California health task force

Claremont Graduate University President Deborah Freund has been appointed as an expert advisor to a new statewide task force charged with developing a 10-year plan to make Californians healthier.

The “Let’s Get Healthy California” task force, assembled by Gov. Jerry Brown and the state’s Health and Human Services Agency, will gather and evaluate the best ideas and practices to improve health quality, control health costs, promote personal responsibility for individual health and advance health equity.

The task force will specifically identify obstacles and create a framework for measuring improvements in key areas including: reducing diabetes, asthma, childhood obesity, hypertension and sepsis-related mortality; reducing hospital readmissions with 30 days of discharge; and increasing the number of children receiving recommended vaccines by age 3.

Ms. Freund is an internationally recognized health economist, known in particular for her research in the areas of Medicaid, health care outcomes and Pharmaco Economics, a field she is credited with founding.

She was the first non-physician to lead a federally funded Patient Outcome Research Team, which pioneered outcomes research in orthopedics, and the first person to use Medicaid claims data for research purposes for orthopedic outcomes research.

She has served as chair of the boards of Health Research and Education Trust, the research subsidiary of the American Hospital Association, and the Association of University Programs in Health Administration.

Ms. Freund has also served on the boards of Cedars-Sinai Health Systems, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Academy Health, the Lifetime Health Care Companies, MedAmerica, Excellus Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Hospice and Palliative Care Associates of Central New York and Catholic Charities of Onondaga County.

She was a member of the advisory councils of the Golisano Children’s Hospital at Upstate and the University of California at Berkeley School of Public Health. She has served as a consultant to numerous multinational drug companies, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and the Australian Government.

The first meeting of the task force was held in Los Angeles on Monday. The plan will be presented by December 15, 2012.

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