Correction (October 29 1:45 AM): Due to a reporting error, an earlier version of this story incorrectly stated when Professor Thomas Ricketts began working at UNC. Ricketts began working at UNC in 1978, not 2001, after completing his masters degree. The Daily Tar Heel apologizes for the error.
At a time when health care reform has become a hot topic in the national political scene, a University professor is helping Congress and the president call the shots.
Thomas Ricketts, health policy and management professor, said he hopes to use his position on the National Health Care Workforce Commission to make sure all health care professionals’ views are heard.
“We have a very diverse group of professionals and trained or experienced people whose work can be coordinated much better,” Ricketts, who is currently in France, said in an e-mail.
The commission was established by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a large-scale health care legislation passed earlier this year.
The commission is important because it will be making direct recommendations to the nation’s lawmaking body, said Stephen Gamboa, adjunct assistant professor in the department of family medicine.
“The first step is to propose solutions,” said Gamboa, who has traveled to Washington, D.C. to offer advice on health care policy at the White House.
“It just depends whether Congress is ready to listen to their recommendations.”
Gamboa said Ricketts, who has worked at UNC since 1978, has done a lot of work to advance access to health care in rural areas, and that this area should be a focus of the panel.