On Monday, January 30, 2012, President Emeritus David C. Hohn, MD, and other RPCI leaders were pleased to host a visit from Bill Corr, Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Corr presided over a White House Business Council roundtable discussion on innovation in healthcare and learned about recent advances and ongoing research at Roswell Park. Joining Corr for the roundtable were Rep. Brian Higgins, area health executives and staff from other legislative offices. (See photo gallery below.)
"We have local companies and institutions eager to pursue innovations in the healthcare industry who are frustrated with the federal government’s slow and convoluted process, which lacks certainty and in turn causes hiring delays in Western New York,” said Rep. Brian Higgins, who attended the roundtable discussion and shared the group’s frustration with federal funding cuts to the National Institutes of Health. “Working together to make the federal government a better partner with these businesses is key to a better healthcare delivery system and a stronger economy."
Rep. Kathleen Hochul issued a statement following Tuesday's discussion: "Today, Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary William Corr was able to see firsthand the cutting edge work being undertaken by the Western New York medical community at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute," she said. "With a record of innovation and medical advancements, like last week’s announcement of a cancer vaccine trial, Roswell Park has proven to be at the heart of our region’s medical community. Their ability to find funding through public-private partnerships has not only led to breakthroughs in the areas of medical and scientific research, but has done so in a cost-effective manner. Deputy Secretary Corr was able to learn about the advancements underway and the progress made in preventing and curing cancer, as well as how this one facility is boosting the Western New York economy."
Also attending the discussion were representatives from Applied Sciences Group, Inc., the New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, Kaleida Health, CureFAKtor, Dent Neurological Institute, HEALTHeLINK, Lawley Benefits group, Univera Healthcare, Moog, Greatbatch, HealthNow New York Inc. and the University at Buffalo Clinical & Translational Research Center.
As Deputy Secretary of HHS, Corr is responsible for the operations of the largest civilian department in the federal government. He has served in the past as Executive Director of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and as counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives' Subcommittee on Health and the Environment.