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Healthcare reform focus of community forum on Nov. 4

Elon University and the Times-News newspaper are co-sponsoring three events this year in which students, professors and residents of Alamance County will share diverse viewpoints on current events.

Healthcare reform takes center stage at Elon University next month in the first of three “Community Connections” programs planned on campus this year where students, professors, industry experts and community members will discuss and debate salient public policy issues.

The first forum takes place Monday, Nov. 4, from 7-8:15 p.m. in the Moseley Center, and organizers with Elon University and the Times-News in Burlington, N.C., are accepting applications from people who wish to have a formal part in the program. Applications are due by 5 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 21.

To be considered, email a short application statement of less than 100 words summarizing your view on healthcare reform to Times-News editor Madison Taylor (mtaylor@thetimesnews.com) or Catherine Parsons (cparsons@elon.edu) with the university’s Project Pericles program.

A selection committee of community and university representatives will select 10 panelists from these statements. Organizers hope to include at least three or more community members representing a wide array of perspectives and opinions on the issue. 

For those selected to serve as panelists, a short statement about their views must be provided one week prior to the forum for publication on a special website. All panelists will receive a $100 honorarium for their participation. Elon panelists will have funds transferred to their Phoenix card and community members will be given a Visa gift card.

Panelists will read their statements at the forum and may be asked to respond to questions submitted by audience members at the event. The university and the Times-News also are recruiting experts with a deep knowledge of the topic to serve on an “expert” panel to open the evening.

Kenn Gaither, associate dean of the School of Communications, will moderate the program.

Healthcare reform was the favored issue among students who voted on a variety of public policy topics during a recent College Coffee, and among website visitors to the Times-News website who also cast votes on their preferred issue. Organizers have yet to decide the issues for a forum tentatively scheduled in January and a forum planned for April.

The healthcare forum follows a May 2013 program similar in design and scope in which the community discussed factors that contribute to gun violence in the United States.

Eric Townsend,
10/13/2013 4:45 PM