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Chapel Hill, NC  27599-6210
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Not for publication July 23, 1999


Prominent pediatrician, former Tar Heel coach to lead blue-ribbon panel studying state child health programs

News Conference
11 a.m., Tuesday, July 27
Jane S. McKimmon Center, Western Boulevard at Gorman St. Raleigh

The N.C. Institute of Medicine will convene a task force of leading experts and child advocates to study North Carolina programs and services that promote child health. The effort will be announced Tuesday (July 27) at 11 a.m. at the Jane S. McKimmon Center, located at the corner of Western Boulevard and Gorman Street in Raleigh. Reporters are invited.

Dr. Samuel Katz, Wilburt C. Davison professor and former chair of pediatrics at Duke University Medical Center, will co-chair the task force with Dean E. Smith, former head coach of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill men's basketball team. The group was formed at the request of Dr. H. David Bruton, secretary of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

"This is a rare opportunity to focus significant attention on the full spectrum of all we have tried to do for children in this state," said Katz. "We have the challenge of anticipating our needs for programs serving our children in the new century."

While many N.C. programs assist children and families, the often disjointed and overlapping nature of the services can make it difficult to find the right ones for families whose needs are greatest, officials said. The task force will study ways to improve the programs and their usefulness.

Speakers will include Katz, Smith, Bruton and Dr. Gordon H. DeFriese, president of the N.C. Institute of Medicine and professor of social medicine and director of the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research at UNC-CH.

A final report of the task force is expected by March 2000.


Institute contact: Carolyn Busse, (919) 966-3847

UNC-CH News Services contact: David Williamson, 962-8596.