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Christie Hager

A New Era of Health Reform: The New England Experience

Christie Hager will speak about health reform and what it means to all of us. “Health reform” historically has referred to states striving to expand access to health care for their residents, whether with federal assistance or through consumer-oriented insurance regulation. Since March of 2010, health reform has meant a new era of partnership between the states and federal government. There are new ways for individuals and businesses to access health insurance, new investments in public health, and movement toward transformation of the US health care delivery system. Longstanding traditions of wellness and prevention are now in sharper focus alongside modern applications in information technology.

In 2010 Hager was appointed by President Obama as Regional Director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In this position, Hager leads Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ efforts to improve the health and enhance the delivery of human services to some of the most vulnerable populations throughout New England. Her experiences illustrate new opportunities and remaining challenges to improve the health of low- and middle-income individuals, urban and rural communities, and everyone in between.

Prior to her current appointment, Hager was Chief Health Counsel to the Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives during the development, drafting, and first three years of implementation of the Massachusetts health reform law enacted in 2006. Hager is currently on the faculty at the Harvard School of Public Health, and has taught in graduate programs across New England.  She holds an A.B. from Smith College, a M.P.H. from the Boston University School of Public Health, and a J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law.