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Governor Rendell Announces Resignation of Top Health Care Advisor Rosemarie Greco

Tuesday, December 23, 2008 General News J E 4
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Life-long health care advocate Ann Torregrossa named new GOHCR director



HARRISBURG, Pa., Dec. 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Rosemarie B. Greco will resign as director of the Governor's Office of Health Care Reform on Dec. 31, Governor Edward G. Rendell announced today. Greco will continue to serve the administration as the senior advisor to the Governor on health care issues and will be based in the Governor's Philadelphia Office.



The Governor said that he has named current health care reform deputy director Ann Torregrossa to succeed Greco as director.



"Pennsylvania has become the national leader on health care reform issues ranging from battling hospital acquired infections to better managing chronic diseases, and that success is thanks to the work of Rosemarie Greco and her team at the Governor's Office of Health Care Reform," Governor Rendell said. "My first official act as Governor in 2003 was to establish the Governor's Office of Health Care Reform and appoint Rosemarie as its director with the assignment to reform Pennsylvania's health care system.



"From the challenges of medical malpractice insurance reforms -- including the proposal and passage of the Mcare abatement program -- to reforming the way we deliver and pay for long term living services, Rosemarie was at the forefront of addressing tough issues from her first day on the job."



Greco is best known as the driving force behind the Governor's Prescription for Pennsylvania health care reform plan. The initiatives involved issues that had long been debated and discussed in Pennsylvania, but never resolved. For example, Rx for PA called for allowing advanced practice nurses to provide care reflecting the full extent of their education and training, to both increase accessibility to health care and help save money. Doctors, hospitals and nursing groups had fought over those proposals, known as "scope of practice," for years. Greco is credited with getting the parties to the table and achieving compromise that had been sought for decades.



"Rosemarie Greco came to state government as a private business person, perhaps best known as a banker who, in her day, was the highest ranking woman banking official in America. I think that background was what made her so successful in Harrisburg -- she wasn't part of the bureaucracy and refused to let it get in the way of doing what was right for people. She approached her job as she would have in the private sector and she respected people and their differing opinions. She blended those differences into solutions that the interested parties could accept and that would ultimately help people.



"What Rosemarie has accomplished, working with just a handful of staff over the past six years, is nothing short of amazing. The Prescription for Pennsylvania has received national accolades for being innovative and forward thinking, yet practical. The work she spearheaded on medical malpractice has helped reduce the number of cases, lower the cost of insurance and make it more accessible.



"The long-term living community will be forever grateful for her insistence that one of our first priorities was a program supporting our citizens so they could grow old in their homes or wherever they felt comfortable, received services for as long as they needed and were given information on a comprehensive range of services.



"Her recognition of the devastation of avoidable health care acquired infections, both in terms of quality of life and dollars spent, and the reforms her office created to attack the problem, will forever change the health care landscape in Pennsylvania and throughout the nation.



"I know Rosemarie's one regret about her time in Harrisburg was our inability to achieve health care coverage for the uninsured, but we haven't given up on that, and we'll be working on making it a reality when the General Assembly returns in January."



"Fortunately, I know the Governor's Office of Health Care Reform remains in good hands as Ann Torregrossa, who has been a health care advocate for years and is well-known nationally for her health care knowledge and experience, has agreed to serve as director," the Governor said.



"Ann worked hand-in-hand with Rosemarie and me to develop the Prescription for Pennsylvania and her commitment to the health of all Pennsylvanians is indisputable. She is passionate about these issues and I look forward to working with her and the rest of the excellent GOHCR team to make the rest of our agenda a reality."



Torregrossa is an attorney with 38 years experience in Medicaid law and health policy. Before joining GOHCR she was the director of the Philadelphia Health Law Project, a statewide public interest law firm that provides free assistance to consumers facing difficulties obtaining needed publicly funded health care. Her background makes her very familiar with the barriers facing consumers needing access to health care.



Torregrossa has taught an interdisciplinary course at the University of Pennsylvania for medical, law, masters of social work and graduate nurses on publicly funded health care. She has also taught courses at Villanova University School of Law, her alma mater.



Ann and her husband, Joe, are long-time residents of Swarthmore. Their family includes two children, three grandchildren, with a fourth due in April, and two golden retrievers.



The Rendell administration is committed to creating a first-rate public education system, protecting our most vulnerable citizens and continuing economic investment to support our communities and businesses. To find out more about Governor Rendell's initiatives and to sign up for his weekly newsletter, visit www.governor.state.pa.us.





CONTACT: Chuck Ardo 717-783-1116

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor
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