Bevin and Conway to speak, answer questions about health policy at rural-health group’s meeting Sept. 18 in Bowling Green

The Kentucky Rural Health Association is hosting a “Candidates Forum on Health” Friday, Sept. 18 in Bowling Green, after the conclusion of its annual conference. All of the candidates running for all offices in November have been invited, KRHA said, but the focus will be on the two major-party candidates for governor, who will speak and answer questions in separate, back-to-back sessions.

“I hope this forum will help us have a better understanding of what the candidates’ views are on health care and what their approach will be,” KRHA President Dr. Brent Wright said in an interview.

Republican Matt Bevin is scheduled to speak and answer questions from 1:15 to 2 p.m., and Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway is scheduled to do likewise from 2:15 to 3 p.m. Bowling Green is on Central Time. Candidates for governor and other statewide offices will have a meet-and-greet session at 11:30 a.m., before lunch.

Wright said he was looking for candidates’ views on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and rural health care, “especially after the auditor put forth his report on hospitals that face financial challenges throughout the state.”

Independent candidate Drew Curtis said he was not invited but would seek an invitation.

Wright said the forum offers a unique opportunity for KRHA stakeholders, who represent many different areas of health care around the state, to find out what the candidates are saying about health and get their questions answered.

“We are a group that is about advocacy and education for rural health care,” Wright said. “We want to convey that rural health matters and that our membership has a voice and that our concerns need to be heard.”

The public is invited to the forum. Lunch will be provided free of charge to attendees, but registration is required. Click here to register.

The forum is co-sponsored by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, the Friedell Committee, the Kentucky Academy of Family Physicians, the Kentucky Coalition of Nurse Practitioners & Nurse Midwives, the Kentucky Hospital Association, the Kentucky Medical Association, the Kentucky Primary Care Association and Kentucky Voices for Health.

The Sept. 17-18 KRHA conference and the Sept. 18 forum will be held at Western Kentucky University‘s Knicely Center on Nashville Road, with lodging at the adjacent Staybridge Suites on Campbell Lane and the new Hyatt Place, next to the WKU campus on Center Street (with shuttle service). The registration fees until Sept. 3 are $125 for KRHA members, $200 for non-members and $45 for student members. For the draft agenda, registration form and hotel information, in a PDF, click here.

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