Nov 23, 2009

Sen. Johnson discusses health care reform at USD Med School

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The Sanford School of Medicine of The University of South Dakota hosted a roundtable discussion about health care reform with U.S. Senator Tim Johnson this morning in Sioux Falls.
Participants included Rod Parry, M.D., dean of the medical school, Susan Anderson, M.D., associate professor with the family medicine department, Nate Miller, M.D., a second-year resident, Carl Rasmussen, a second-year medical student and Rachel Zaudke, a second-year medical student.

The medical students contacted Johnson about health care reform, and he asked the school to setup the roundtable discussion.

Most of the discussion focused on how health care reform can help provide care in a rural state like South Dakota. The issues included high student debt, the inability for residents to defer loan payments until after their residency is completed, the cap that provides no additional federal funding for residencies and the higher pay specialists receive compared to primary care physicians.

“We were grateful for a chance to talk with Sen. Johnson about our perspectives on health care reform,” Parry said. “Improving health care in rural South Dakota is critically important for the state’s overall economic future.”

Johnson updated the group on the progress of health reform legislation. The Senate voted Saturday to allow debate on the bill. “We are beginning a new phase of what has been a long process, and we cannot afford to stop this momentum,” Johnson said. “This is a historic opportunity that will help fix a broken health care system.”

A photograph of roundtable participants Nate Miller, Sen. Tim Johnson, Dr. Rodney Parry and Carl Rasmussen is available for download at

About the Sanford School of Medicine

For more than a century, the Sanford School of Medicine of The University of South Dakota has set the standard for medical education of students, residents and professionals in the state. The school’s mission includes education, research and service. It emphasizes family practice to help create the next generation of doctor’s for all parts of the state. The school’s economic impact includes attracting $17 million annually in research funding as well as hosting two of the four 2010 Research Centers designated by the governor.
About The University of South Dakota
Founded in 1862, The University of South Dakota is designated as the only public liberal arts university in the state and is home to a comprehensive College of Arts and Sciences, School of Education, School of Health Sciences, the state's only School of Law, School of Medicine, the accredited Beacom School of Business and the College of Fine Arts. USD has an enrollment of more than 10,000 students taught by more than 400 faculty members. More information is available at

This material is available in an alternate format upon request. Please contact University Relations at 605-677-5759. If you are a person with a disability and need a special accommodation to fully participate in any university activity or event, please contact Disability Services at 605-677-6389 as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours before the event, so that appropriate arrangements may be made.


Peter Carrels
The University of South Dakota
(605) 216-1233
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