April 20, 2010
Cynthia Leonor Garza
Statement by Randi Weingarten,
President, American Federation of Teachers,
On Nomination of Donald Berwick to Medicare/Medicaid Position
WASHINGTON—President Obama’s nomination of Dr. Donald Berwick to head the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is a clear sign by the administration that the new emphasis in our healthcare system must be on the quality of patient care.
Berwick, a pediatrician and president of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in Cambridge, Mass., has been an effective advocate for improving care, reducing medical errors and, importantly, lowering costs. Over decades of involvement in health policy and practice, Berwick helped develop many of the ideas incorporated in the new healthcare law, including provisions intended to reduce readmissions to hospitals and prevent hospital-acquired infections.We are pleased that President Obama selected someone with such a distinguished and proven track record to carry out important changes to our healthcare system, and we urge a quick confirmation.
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The AFT represents more than 1.4 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.