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Healthcare Strategies and Reform: Students Explore Two Perspectives

This guest post is written by Karen Piantek

President Obama and former Governor Romney were not the only ones who were involved in heated debates over healthcare this year. On October 26th, Central Area Health Education Center, Inc., hosted its own debate on the topic of healthcare and healthcare reform for students at the CREC Medical Professions and Teaching Preparation Academy in Windsor, Connecticut.

The debate was between Health JusticeCT contributors, Mr. Zachary Janowski and Dr. Raye Jethro Mutcherson II.  The moderator was me, Karen Piantek, and my questions covered: (1) healthcare reform (2) education and health disparities, and (3) the future of healthcare for students.

Zach is a journalist, and his day job is as investigative reporter for the Yankee Institute for Public Policy, Connecticut’s free-market think tank. He writes about government waste, fraud and abuse on the institute’s blog, and is also a 2012 Phillips Foundation Robert Novak Journalism Fellow. His yearlong project will focus on how government contributes to the rising cost of healthcare.

Raye Jethro Mutcherson, II received his doctorate (PhD) in Genetics and Developmental Biology from the University of Connecticut where he studied the process of Aging and cellular repair mechanisms.  He has extensive experience in clinical research and currently teaches biology and issues in science at Bay Path College.  He also attends Yale University School of Nursing where he is training as a clinical research nurse in the area of Pediatric Oncology.

With two very different backgrounds, these debaters provided students different perspectives by answering questions like how they would have designed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) if it had been left up to them, or whether or not having universal healthcare would make everyone healthy.  Whatever the argument was, it was clear that these two were on the same page of needing to improve the healthcare system. At the end, the floor was opened to questions, and several students followed up with the speakers about points they had made.

Students later reflected on the debate in written statements about their experience.  One student wrote:

“I learned so many things that I didn’t know about healthcare today.  It never occurred to me that there would be monopolies in the healthcare field.  All the information that I learned about the healthcare reform today has influenced what and how I want to live my life in the future.”

The debate was an eye-opening experience for this generation of future healthcare professionals as they prepare to enter the workforce.

Karen C. Piantek is a Careers and Education Initiatives Supervisor at Central Area Health Education Center, Inc., an Adjunct English Instructor at Tunxis Community College, and an aspiring novelist.


Health Justice CT provides a public forum for conversations, ideas and collective action. The opinion expressed on this site are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of HealthJusticeCT or our funder.

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