Islanders invited to forum to learn about Affordable Care Act

A community forum on The Affordable Care Act, the health care bill signed into law by Pres. Obama in 2010, will meet next week and include a panel with expertise in a variety of health issues.

This gathering, hosted by the Vashon Social Services Network (VSSN), is intended for families, individuals and businesses, according to Ava Apple, director of the Vashon Senior Center, a member of VSSN and one of the organizers of the event. It is the fourth annual forum the group has held since forming in 2009. The topic seemed an important one, Apple said.

“I expect a large crowd,” she said. “This is a fundamental change that is going to come.”

She noted that the gathering will not be political, but will focus on what the act means for Islanders.

The format of the gathering had not been set at press time, but Apple said she expected that the heart of the evening would be given over to questions and answers, many of which have already been compiled by organizers. Audience members will be able to ask questions as well.

Panelists will include:

• Rick Skillman, an Islander and former CEO of several hospitals and medical groups and one of the founders of the Vashon Health Care Council, a group that formed in 2011 to try to address Vashon’s unmet health care needs.

• Terry Cumpton, a rural health coordinator in the regional office of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, based in Seattle.

• David Loud, a community liaison for U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott who works in the congressman’s district office on health care issues and has been involved for many years in the issue of access to affordable care on a national level.

• Amber Lewis, director of government relations for Providence Health & Services.


The forum will meet from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20, in McMurray Middle School’s multipurpose room.


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