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#NASHPCONF20 Opens, Recognizing State Policy Innovations in Confronting COVID-19
Gov. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts opened NASHP’s 33rd annual state health policy conference, State Health Policy: Flexibility and Resiliency through COVID-19 and Beyond, on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020, praising the hard work and innovation of state policymakers across the country as they confront COVID-19.
Gov. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts opened NASHP’s 33rd annual state health policy conference on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020, praising the hard work and innovation of state policymakers across the country as they confront COVID-19.
“COVID is like nothing any of us have dealt with before and we were all forced to make a lot of decisions in a very short period of time based on imperfect information and in many cases a scarcity with respect to resources and data and all the rest,” he told more than 1,000 state leaders who registered for the NASHP’s virtual conference, which continues today through Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020.
“I’m incredibly proud of how many of us over these months have managed to find a way to get things done on behalf of the people we serve,” he said in his keynote address. Prior to COVID-19, the conference was scheduled for Boston before it was relocated to a virtual platform.
“… COVID has exposed all kinds of opportunities to improve our health care system,” he explained. “Certainly, the arrival of telehealth here in Massachusetts for all kinds of preventive health care and behavioral health services has been a godsend. Some of the rule changes we have made in regards to addiction treatment should continue as we go forward, and it’s obviously laid out for all of us a road map with respect to the things we need to do to dramatically improve health disparities and to deal with many of the social determinants of health, especially related to race and geography, that came about as a result of the presence of COVID and what it uncovered.”
Gov. Baker concluded, “…From my own experience, as someone who has been in the in the health care world, in government, and in the private sector for the better part of the past 25 years, gatherings are a great opportunity to learn, to hear from other people about a different way of solving a problem or thinking about an issue and I certainly hope in this virtual world you’ll all have a chance to do that. And, obviously we all hope and look forward to the fact that at some point, we’ll be able to do this the old-fashioned way which would be same place, face to face, and maybe with even a handshake or high five.”
NASHP will be tweeting and reporting on the three-day conference in the days ahead.
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