Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families and Leader, Campaign for Better Care
Washington, D.C. — November 23, 2011— "Donald Berwick has been a visionary leader, a champion for patients, and a hero both to those of us working to improve health care in this country and those who will benefit as our health care system improves. Today’s announcement that he will step down from his post at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services next week means the nation loses a compassionate, highly skilled policymaker with vast expertise and a powerful commitment to improving our health care system.
Dr. Berwick was a driving force behind many of the most promising health care innovations of our times. He infused a deep commitment to patient-centered care into all the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services innovations, and was a tireless advocate for reforms that improve patient outcomes and patient experiences of care.
His conviction that it is possible to both improve quality and reduce costs, and his expert knowledge about how to do that, is reflected in countless policies and programs that are already reshaping our broken health care system.
On a more personal note, Dr. Berwick twice joined our Campaign for Better Care at events in Atlanta and Cincinnati, taking the time to talk to older patients and those who have suffered in our fragmented, uncoordinated health care system. At each event, he connected with patients and gave them hope and help, later sharing their stories and experiences to help ensure that new policies and programs would address the needs of people in similar situations.
The nation owes a debt of gratitude to Donald Berwick for his vast contributions to solving the most vexing challenge of our times. We look forward to working closely with his successor, Marilyn Tavenner, to continue his essential work and build on his proud legacy."