The Massachusetts Health Care Challenge Today

Date: September 21, 2006

BIDMC Contact: Margaret Pantridge
Phone: 781-453-3891

Charles D. Baker, president and chief executive officer of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, will give the keynote speech at the Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Needham annual meeting Sept. 28.

Baker, a 1975 graduate of Needham High School who now lives in Swampscott, will return to his home town to discuss "The Massachusetts Health Care Challenge Today." He will draw on his experience turning around the financially troubled Harvard Pilgrim health care insurer so that today, it has become the nation's top-rated plan, according to the National Committee for Quality Assurance and US News and World Report.

The annual meeting will be the hospital's first to feature a keynote address by a leading thinker on an important health care-related topic.

"Today it is harder than ever for health care-related businesses to survive and for consumers to meet the cost of their health care needs," said Baker. "Innovative health care reform legislation passed by Massachusetts last year has changed the traditional winner and loser lists. We're just beginning to see the new landscape emerge."

Baker has been president and CEO of Harvard Pilgrim, one of New England's leading non-profit health plans, since 1999. Previously, he was president and CEO of Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates. He also served for eight years in Massachusetts state government during the Weld and Cellucci administrations as secretary of administration and finance and secretary of health and human services.

The press and members of the public are invited to attend Mr. Baker's speech. If you are interested, please call 781-453-3891. The event will be held at the Needham Sheraton Hotel ballroom. The program will begin at 6:45 p.m.