News

NEW CHAIRMEN, NEW MEMBER APPOINTED TO WHCC
May 8th, 2008

OFFICE OF GOVERNOR DAVE FREUDENTHAL
State Capitol
Cheyenne, WY 82002
Ph. (307) 777-7434


May 1, 2008


******FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE********


Contact: Press Secretary Cara Eastwood
Office: (307) 777-7437
Cell: (307) 421-0197


NEW CHAIRMEN, NEW MEMBER APPOINTED TO WYOMING HEALTH CARE COMMISSION

CHEYENNE, Wyo. - Governor Dave Freudenthal today announced that
physician Larry Kirven and attorney Rex Arney will serve as co-chairmen
of the Wyoming Health Care Commission. The new chairmen will succeed
Dixie Roberts following her resignation from the commission earlier this
spring.

He also appointed Andrew Fitzgerald, the executive vice president and
chief financial officer of Campbell County Memorial Hospital, as a
member of the commission.

*I appreciate very much the leadership role that Rex and Larry have
accepted, and their own personal commitment to the unfinished work of
the commission,* the Governor said. *I also want to welcome Andy to
the commission. His experience in hospital administration will be a
valuable asset to the group.*

Kirven, a family practice physician from Buffalo, serves on the Wyoming
Medical Society Board of Trustees and is the president of the board of
directors of the Mountain Pacific Quality Healthcare Foundation.

"I'm looking forward to working with the Healthcare Commission to
develop our final set of recommendations to the Governor and the
Legislature prior to the end of the Commission in June 2009,* Kirven
said. *Our effort to review past recommendations, analyze the current
needs of the state, and develop a set of recommendations to
realistically meet those needs will consume our remaining months and I
am proud to be a part of that."

Arney maintains a private law practice in Sheridan and is a former
state legislator. He is president of the Wyoming State Bar Foundation
and is also a member of the Children and Families Initiative Advisory
Board and the Wyoming Blue Cross Blue Shield Board.

"The Healthcare Commission has been working hard for a number of years
to develop recommendations for healthcare transformation in Wyoming that
can make a difference in the lives of Wyoming residents,* Arney said.
*The task has sometimes seemed overwhelming, but the Commission has
always been thoughtful in its recommendations and I consider it a
privilege to participate."

In his leadership position at Campbell County Memorial Hospital,
Fitzgerald oversees all accounting, financial, treasury and budgeting
activities for the hospital. He also analyzes all hospital contracts and
oversees the long term care facility.

*Health care is entering its most challenging period in our
nation*s history, both in terms of access and economics,*
Fitzgerald said. *We need to do everything we can in Wyoming to make
access to basic health care services affordable to all of our citizens.
That level of access should be attainable in a state as prosperous,
innovative, and industrious as ours. I look forward to contributing in
whatever way I can to the very good work the Commission has already done
to reach this goal.*

Noting that the Commission*s authority will expire in July of 2009,
the Governor said he is looking forward to a cohesive set of
recommendations identifying incremental steps in health care reform and
a prioritization of what the state should tackle first.

*The Wyoming Health Care Commission has completed significant
research and has offered recommendations on issues ranging from medical
education and training to health insurance reform,* Freudenthal said.
*It*s clear that any successful effort to address health care reform
must first identify ways to contain costs, recruit more providers and
encourage greater personal responsibility and the commission*s
recommendations in these areas will be welcomed.*

The Governor also expressed his deep appreciation to outgoing
commission chair Dixie Roberts of Cheyenne.

*The commitment of volunteer time, both personal and professional,
has been significant for both Dixie and the other commission members and
I thank them for their work,* he said.

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