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Mayor's Office

2009 Media Releases

April 16, 2009
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Lori Seibel, Community Health Endowment, 436-5516
Ellen Beck, Task Force Coordinator, 436-5178


Mayor Chris Beutler today announced the formation of the Mayor's Blue Ribbon Task Force on the Health Care Safety Net. The task force will address the increasing number of uninsured individuals in Lincoln who rely on "safety net" providers, such as community health centers, free clinics, hospitals, other nonprofit organizations, private physicians and local government.

"Lincoln's safety net providers are experiencing an increased demand for their services without a corresponding increase in revenues to meet this need," said Mayor Beutler. "The purpose of the task force will be to develop ambitious recommendations to make sure that a strong, coordinated and sustainable health care safety net catches the uninsured and low-income families in Lincoln."

Kim Russel, President and CEO of BryanLGH Health System, will chair the 26-member task force representing health care providers and policy makers, elected officials, ethnic and minority communities and nonprofits. The task force will be assisted by a group of advisors who are affiliated with local safety net providers.

"There is no question that Lincoln's health care safety net is under immense pressure," said Russel. "As the economy continues its bumpy ride, the health care safety net will only be further strained. That is why the work of the Mayor's task force is timely and urgent."

"Health care is assuming center stage in local, state and national conversations," said Lori Seibel, President and CEO of the Community Health Endowment of Lincoln, one of the agencies involved in the task force. "We believe that this effort represents a timely and strategic opportunity to examine Lincoln's local safety net system while keeping a close eye on the implications of national health care reform."

The task force will meet for the first time Friday, April 24 and is scheduled to release recommendations in six to eight months. Funding for the task force has been provided by Health Partners Initiative of Lincoln. Ellen Beck, who will coordinate the task force, has 15 years of experience in analyzing and reporting on health care policy and business. She can be reached at 436-5178 or

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