Aruba's Prime Minister Mike Eman Shows Path to a Sustainable Future
NYU Wagner students were treated to a fascinating account of Aruba's efforts to link economic growth and social development in sustainable ways -- a presentation delivered at NYU Wagner by none other than the island's Prime Minister, Mike Eman.
Prime Minister Eman, who is serving his second term, noted that Aruba, with a population of 100,000, began to develop its structural reforms even before the worldwide financial bubble burst in 2007-'08. In the prior two decades, Aruba had struggled with socio-economic stressors of its own despite the tremendous growth of its tourism industry.
To address this striking disconnect, Mr. Eman and his political party initiated Social Dialogues to encourage greater public involvement across communities and sectors in government planning. These and other efforts brought about the reshaping of the streetscape, the refurbishment of older buildings, and renewed emphasis on strengthening schools, healthcare, and conditions for the elderly. Overall, the work-in-progress contributes to the island's general welfare and "happiness," even drawing praise from environmentalists Al Gore, Richard Branson, and many others. Mr. Eman went from his Wagner visit of March 26 to an engineering society gathering in Manhattan where he accepted an award on behalf of the new battery-fueled trolley system in Aruba -- a notable advance in clean, safe urban transit.
"In 2008, the world was surprised when in so many cases greed had taken over and the public interest was not taken into account," said Mr. Eman. However, he said, Aruba's experiences suggest that while economic growth is critical, it cannot be de-coupled from democratic values, the environment, and social development -- or the result will be a city, a country, or indeed a world which is neither truly happy nor sustainable.
Influential Chinese Delegation Visits NYU Wagner on U.S. Study Tour
An influential Chinese delegation made NYU Wagner an extended stop on its U.S. study tour on Sept. 25, spending more than two hours at the school and hearing faculty discuss their research world cities, aging populations, and healthcare.
The 20 delegates of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) listened as Professor Victor Rodwin explained his comparative studies focused on the health of older adults in some of the world’s biggest cities. Professor Zhan Guo described his research on the built landscape and walkability in fast-growing Chinese urban areas.
Both research presentations drew a lively question-and-answer period, with some delegates asking about the role of the family in taking care of aging relatives, and taking part in a discussion of cultural differences between cities such as Tokyo, Hong Kong, and New York.
The CPPCC delegates left with a host of printed materials about NYU Wagner, and some promised to spread the word about the school’s vital role in educating the next generation of global public service leaders in the nonprofit, governmental, and private sectors.
Marilyn Tavenner, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Visits NYU Wagner
Marilyn Tavenner, Administrator of the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicare Services (CMS), visited NYU Wagner on January 30 and fielded questions about her extensive career, management learnings, and the Affordable Care Act from Dean Sherry Glied and a group of NYU Wagner students working toward an MPA in Health Policy and Management.
Ms. Tavenner started out in the healthcare field as a nurse. As the current Administrator for the CMS, she manages an $820 billion federal agency that, among many other tasks, has overseen the signup of more than 3 million Americans, and counting, for health insurance coverage under the landmark Affordable Care Act passed by Congress in March, 2010. The agency is also implementing insurance reforms and the Affordable Insurance Exchanges included in the health reform law.
In describing some of her recent successes and challenges in a complex public arena, she noted she never set out to become one of the nation’s top healthcare officials. But she said she has always embraced and truly enjoyed each of her roles, as nurse, healthcare administrator at both state and federal levels, executive of a hospital chain, and her present top-tier post. Along the way she has learned to trust her instincts, listen closely to her staff and the public, and "be yourself."
Her most recent experiences as an appointee of President Barack Obama have demonstrated anew to her that the healthcare field is fast-changing, a vital part of the economy and well-being of everyone's community and country, and a rich and deeply rewarding area in which to be involved.
“I wouldn’t trade any of the jobs I’ve had,” Ms. Tavenner said. “It’s a great career.”
NYU Wagner and the Stern School of Business
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News/In the Press
Military Veterans in Focus at Kovner-Behrman Health Forum
The 18th Annual Kovner-Behrman Health Forum at NYU Wagner featured Carolyn Clancy, M.D., Assistant Deputy Undersecretary for Health for Quality, Safety and Value at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. In a spirited and informative keynote speech, she described the Veterans Health Administration and its continung drive toward excellence and high achievement.
Dr. Clancy was introduced with welcoming remarks by Wagner's Professor John Donnellan, who worked extensively in New York City for the VA after earning his MPA from Wagner in 1984. As a graduate student, his professor and mentor was Professor Anthony Kovner, now his colleague, who sat front-and-center in an audience which consisted of many Wagner Health Policy & Management alumni, faculty, and students, and a range of healthcare professionals.
Carolyn Clancy, a general internist, a researcher on disparities in healthcare and other pressing issues, and an accomplished and seasoned U.S. healthcare administrator, described a vast, mission-driven, national VA healthcare system that has led the way in healthcare innovation, safety, efficiencies, and needs-responsive medical services. It consists of 151 medical centers, well over 985 outpatient centers, and 70 mobile health units. Its size, she said, is demonstrated by its staff of 822,000 employees. No less than two-thirds of U.S. doctors have received training in a VA facility. "Pretty amazing," she said.
The organization aims to become even more patient-driven, she noted, adding that the philosophy that comes clearly from the top, and is taken to heart across the agency, is: "We owe it to them [our nation's war veterans] to help them do much better, so they can get back to the rest of their lives."
The Kovner-Berhman Health Forum was established by Professor Kovner in 1996. It convenes leading health experts for a dialogue about how to improve the healthcare delivery sytsem. With extensive experience as both a health practioner and academic, Anthony Kovner saw the value of bridging the gap between the two sectors. Each year, experts at the forum engage a different healthcare topic that is relevant to both practioners and researchers, with the goal of learning from one another and improving overall health outcomes.