At the September Triangle Global Health Consortium Breakfast Discussion, speakers engaged with local students and professionals to address issues in caring for the poor, the un-insured, and the under-insured throughout North Carolina and the world.

Given Fuqua’s unique location in the heart of the Research Triangle Park, students have easy access to some of the most prominent community leaders in North Carolina, like those involved with the consortium. Fuqua’s Health Care Club members are invited to attend these monthly discussions and to join in as the consortium works toward its mission to bring the private sector, government, and academia together to exchange ideas and to create a dialogue about current issues in the health sector.

This month, the discussion provided a broader perspective on several health care reform issues covered during Fuqua’s Health Sector Management Boot Camp, an intense week-long summer class designed to introduce Daytime, Global Executive, Weekend Executive, and Cross Continent MBA students to the U.S. health care system.

As a unique supplement to the Health Sector Management (HSM) program’s focus on health reform during Boot Camp and the HSM weekly seminar series, Dr. Dennis Chao, senior health economist at RTI International and Sean Harrison, Executive Director of Alliance Medical Ministry, provided their insight on quality, accessible, and affordable primary care.

Dr. Chao addressed issues in caring for the poor, focusing on a case study in Nepal to demonstrate issues in providing free basic health care services. In Nepal, the government intends to implement a system of universal free care to expand the public health services provided by the local government and to combat the financial burden on the poor.

Although further discussion revealed that preventative care in Nepal is lacking. In contrast, preventative care and education for diabetes management, high cholesterol, hypertension, and obesity are the primary focus at Alliance Medical Ministry in Wake County, North Carolina, a community health clinic targeting 724,000 low-income, un-insured residents. Harrison explained that its services will continue to be in demand, despite health reform. Medicaid expansion does not take effect until 2014, so the population Alliance serves will still be un-insured until that time.

The consortium plans to continue to address issues in health reform. Upcoming breakfast discussions will also address intellectual property in health care, proposed cost-cutting measures for health care both locally and globally, and will generate a dialogue in an upcoming meeting, led by The Department of Health and Human Services, on childhood obesity.

The popular September breakfast was hosted by Nicole Fouche, Executive Director of the Global Health Consortium at the NC Biotechnology Center in Research Triangle Park. Meeting attendees included representatives from local non-profits, area undergraduate and graduate students, and other professionals with a focus on health care.

Monthly breakfast discussions are scheduled for the fourth Thursday of every month. Fuqua HSM students can join the Consortium to stay abreast of the event schedule and opportunities to connect with local professionals and organizations.