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Kent State’s College of Public Health Hosts the 71st Human Services Institute, March 25

Posted Mar. 15, 2013

The 71st Human Services Institute, Northeast Ohio’s longest-running institute focused on health and human services, comes to Kent State University from 10 a.m. to noon on March 25 in the Kent Student Center Kiva.

Photo of Barbara EdwardsThis year’s keynote speaker is Barbara Edwards, director of the Disabled and Elderly Health Programs Group (DEHPG) at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS). She will be presenting on the topic “Health Reform: Opportunities, Challenges and Uncertainties.” The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

Edwards is a nationally recognized expert in Medicaid policy, including managed care, cost containment, long-term care, and state and federal health care reform. She served for eight years as the Ohio State Medicaid Director and was a principal with Health Management Associates, Inc. (HMA) for four years. At HMA, Edwards focused on Medicaid, national health reform and service delivery for persons with chronic and disabling conditions.

CMS administers the Medicare, Medicaid and State Children’s Health Insurance programs for the federal government. DEHPG houses Medicaid coverage and care coordination for the elderly and individuals with disabilities. This includes initiatives to promote community-based care options and to enhance the availability of long-term services and supports. The group manages the Medicaid prescription drug benefit and manufacturer rebates and oversees benefits issues across the Medicaid program.

Ken Slenkovich, assistant dean of Kent State’s College of Public Health, helped organize the event.

“This is the 71st anniversary for this event put on by the Center for Community Solutions (CCS) in Cleveland,” Slenkovich said.  “The CCS is a major community partner of the college.  It’s the first time they’ve held this event in Kent. Since we’re bringing in a speaker from the federal government that is deeply involved with the health care reform bill, we see it as a way to get some exposure for the College of Public Health and inform the university and external communities about how the bill will impact them.”

Following the keynote address, panel presentations will be made by:
Marcia Egbert
Senior Program Officer for Human Services
The George Gund Foundation

Joan Englund
Executive Director
Mental Health Advocacy Coalition

Joseph Ruby
President and CEO
Area Agency on Aging

Heather Torok
Senior Program Officer for Healthy People, Urban Health and Well-Being
Saint Luke’s Foundation

To register for the event, visit For more information, visit

For more information about Kent State’s College of Public Health, visit

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Media Contacts:
Ken Slenkovich,, 330-672-6504
Emily Vincent,, 330-672-8595