CEO: Health care industry broken

Sara Scanes

Support for Obama’s initiatives discussed


Credit: DKS Editors

Health care is quickly becoming very big business, especially in Ohio, a “high risk” state for health problems, said Stephen Colecchi, president and chief executive officer of Robinson Memorial Hospital.

“Stethoscopes are quickly replacing smokestacks as economic drivers,” he said.

Colecchi, a Kent State graduate and member of the Board of Trustees, spoke in Cartwright Hall yesterday as part of the Charles J. Pilliod Lecture Series.

Summa Health System’s nine principles for health care reform:

1. Put “health” back into health care

2. Coverage for everyone

3. Control costs by improving quality and efficiency

4. Improve the delivery of care

5. Recruit more nurses and primary care physicians

6. Accelerate adoption of health information technology

7. Care for older adults

8. Make publicly traded insurance companies accountable

9. Encourage transparency

He presented information about the future of health care in Ohio and in the United States.

“The health care industry in America is broken,” said Colecchi. “The system is broken, and it must be fixed.”

His speech, titled “Our Healthcare Economy: A Bright Spot in Northeast Ohio’s Future,” touched on national and local health care issues, health care reform and “exciting” career opportunities in health care.

Colecchi also briefly spoke about Obama’s health care plan.

“I can certainly support all of (Obama’s) initiatives because they make sense,” he said.

Colecchi emphasized the desperate need for health care reform nationwide, outlining some ideas for reform using Summa Health System’s nine principles for health care reform. Robinson Memorial is a part of Summa Health System.

Of the nine principles he mentioned, Colecchi emphasized two in particular: a need for all U.S. citizens to have health care and a need for more registered nurses and primary care physicians.

“By 2020, there will be a shortfall of 85,000 primary care physicians,” he said.

The need for registered nurses will increase 2 to 3 percent each year, leading to a shortage of 1 million by 2020.

Colecchi presented his points to a nearly full house, but Nicole Wolfe, junior business management major, said she had to be there for class.

“Our whole exploring business class had to be here,” she said.

In his welcome address, professor Gregory Hackett acknowledged the fact that most of the audience was there for class, encouraging them to take notes for the quiz following the presentation.

Even if he was there for class, sophomore marketing major Joey Priore said he still enjoyed Colecchi’s presentation.

“I really liked the comment he made about our health care system being more of a sick care system,” he said. “It was phenomenal.”

Contact general assignment reporter Sara Scanes

at [email protected].