Press Advisory

Navigating American Health Care

How Information Technology Can Foster Health Care Improvement

Many Americans enjoy access to the very best that medical knowledge and medical technology can offer, but our health care delivery system is riddled with inefficiency, quality is uneven, and roughly half of all patients do not receive recommended care. One of the most critical steps towards improving our health care system and garnering better value for our health care spending is to change how we deliver health care in ways that improve patient outcomes, lower costs, and improve health care productivity. Health information technology can play a significant role in this transformation. The Center for American Progress will be releasing “Navigating American Health Care” to address this very issue.

To explore how health IT applications and the data analysis that health IT enables can improve health care quality and productivity, the Center for American Progress will host a discussion featuring a leading policymaker, health care quality experts, and public program managers. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) will open the event with his perspective on the role of health IT in health care quality improvement. Following Whitehouse’s remarks, Karen Davenport will provide an overview of CAP’s policy recommendations for enhancing the use of health IT. Dr. Mark Carroll will discuss the Indian Health Service’s efforts to build health IT capacity and infrastructure within a major public sector health program, and provide a preview of the IHS’s efforts to use health IT to improve population health. Finally, Gerald Shea will provide his insights on quality measures and quality reporting, and how health IT can enable these efforts.

Keynote Speaker: Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)


Karen Davenport, Director of Health Policy, Center for American Progress

Gerald Shea, Assistant to the President, AFL-CIO

Mark Carroll, M.D., Director of Telemedicine, Indian Health Service


Wednesday, June 06, 2007 Program: 12:30pm to 2:00pm Admission is free.

Lunch will be served at 12:00 p.m.

Center for American Progress 1333 H St. NW, 10th Floor Washington, DC 20005 Map & Directions

Nearest Metro: Blue/Orange Line to McPherson Square or Red Line to Metro Center

RSVP for this Event

For more information, please call (202) 682-1611.


Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

Sheldon Whitehouse has made reforming our broken health care system a hallmark of his career throughout his twenty years of public service in Rhode Island and now in the United States Senate. He founded the Rhode Island Quality Institute, a collaborative effort between health care providers, insurers, and government that has pioneered efforts to expand the use of electronic prescriptions and improve the quality of care delivered in the state’s intensive care units. Whitehouse put his experience to work in the Senate, making health care reform the subject of the first legislation he introduced since taking office. The trio of bills is aimed at encouraging health quality reforms, building a national health IT infrastructure, and linking health care payments to health care quality.

Whitehouse graduated from Yale University and the University of Virginia School of Law. He spent several years as a policy advisor and counsel in the Office of the Governor before being nominated by President Bill Clinton to be Rhode Island’s U.S. Attorney in 1994. He was elected Attorney General in 1998, where he served from 1999-2003. On November 7, 2006, Rhode Islanders elected Sheldon to the Senate, where he is a member of the Special Committee on Aging, the Budget Committee, the Environment and Public Works Committee, the Judiciary Committee, and the Select Committee on Intelligence. He lives in Providence with his wife Sandra, a marine biologist and environmental advocate, and their two children.

Karen Davenport

Karen Davenport, Director of Health Policy at the Center for American Progress, manages CAP’s efforts to promote affordable health coverage for all Americans. Before joining CAP, she served as Washington Director for the Medicare Rights Center, coordinating the organization’s national policy activities, partnership development and fundraising activities. As a Senior Program Officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, she developed and managed national programs dedicated to increasing health insurance coverage and improving long-term care financing and services for frail elders and people with disabilities. As a Legislative Assistant to Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-NE), she was responsible for staffing the senator’s work on Medicare, Medicaid, public health, welfare, and social issues. Her earlier federal experience includes serving as a specialist in Medicaid legislation for the Health Care Financing Administration (now the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) and serving on the White House Health Care Reform Task Force. Davenport earned an MPA from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University and a BA in political science from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington.

Gerald Shea

As Assistant to the President at the AFL-CIO since 1995, Gerald M. Shea’s work covers issues such as health care and retirement security as well as relations with allied organizations and government entities. Before his appointment by President Sweeney, Shea held various positions at the AFL-CIO from August 1993 through October 1995; first serving as director of the policy office with responsibility for health care and pensions and then in several Executive Staff positions. Prior to joining the AFL-CIO, Shea spent 21 years with the Service Employees International Union as an organizer and local union official in Massachusetts and as senior staff member of the national union.

Shea is a member of the Board of the National Quality Forum, the Board of the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Health Care Organizations, of the HHS Quality Alliance Steering Committee, and the principals group of the Hospital Quality Alliance. He is a founding board member of the Foundation for Accountability and chairs the RxHealthValue Project. He is a past member of the Social Security Advisory Board, the Medicare Prospective Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) and its predecessor, the Prospective Payment Advisory Commission, as well as the Institute of Medicine’s Quality in Health Care Committee’s Subcommittee on the External Environment.

Shea is a native of Massachusetts and a Boston College graduate.

Mark Carroll, MD

Mark Carroll, MD is the Telehealth Program director for the Indian Health Service. Dr. Carroll has served Indian health care in multiple clinical, administrative, and program development capacities since 1992. He has helped develop and support diverse Indian health initiatives and activities related to health information technology, telehealth care, performance improvement/clinical quality, adolescent health, school-based health care, community epidemiology/public health, and health promotion/community wellness program development. Currently, he also serves as the lead for the IHS VistA Imaging project and the acting director of the Native American Cardiology Program.

Dr. Carroll received his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and his medical school degree from Dartmouth Medical School. He completed general surgical internship training at the Presbyterian-University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, pediatric residency training at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelpia, and fellowship training in the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program at Stanford University.

The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan research and educational institute dedicated to promoting a strong, just and free America that ensures opportunity for all. We believe that Americans are bound together by a common commitment to these values and we aspire to ensure that our national policies reflect these values. We work to find progressive and pragmatic solutions to significant domestic and international problems and develop policy proposals that foster a government that is “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”