Wednesday, October 22, 2014 12:54am
North Adams, MA now: 52 °   
Send news, tips, press releases and questions to info@iBerkshires.com
The Berkshires online guide to events, news and Berkshire County community information.
SIGN IN | REGISTER NOW   

Home About Archives RSS Feed
Return to election home page
Ex-Medicare Chief Mulling Run for Governor
By Andy McKeever On: 11:01PM / Tuesday April 09, 2013

Former Medicare chief Dr. Donald Berwick was in Pittsfield on Tuesday to introduce himself and listen to Berkshire Brigade members as he 'strongly considers' a run for governor.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Dr. Donald Berwick grew up in a small rural town where if someone's car was stalled on the side of the road, you didn't drive by.

You stopped to help.

It was a general idea that he grew up with, that "we're all together and we help each other." And it is that general idea that has now led him to "strongly considering" a run for governor.

His father was doctor, making house house calls miles away helping everyone he could and Berwick followed those footsteps.

He went off to Harvard Medical School and then went on to become a pediatrician. Meanwhile, public policy was an interest of his and he received his master of public policy degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

While working in private practice, there were inefficiencies that hindered his ability to provide the best care — for example labs tests not being returned quickly.

"I got interested in quality. How do we do better?" Berwick said on Tuesday when he introduced himself to members of the Berkshire Brigades, the county's leading Democratic organization. "I became a student not just of health care but of improvement. I began studying on anything gets better."

He found the best organizations didn't "disrespect" the people working for it. But, like his younger days in Connecticut, worked together with motivated leaders in various disciplines using their own imagination and plans to work toward the common goal.

That management belief coupled with his drive to "make everything better" led him to start the nonprofit Institute for Healthcare Improvement, bringing health-care professionals from across the world together to optimize health-care delivery.

"I then started to grow a national and international organization to try to improve health and health-care worldwide. And that grew. It is now the largest and most significant of such an organization in the world," he said.

Meanwhile, he still saw patients but wanted to do more. While he could treat a virus and make the health systems better, he couldn't solve the root cause.

"What makes a kid sick is not just the germ ... it is poverty, something in the air that shouldn't be there, injustice, fear or just social circumstances," Berwick said, adding that health care extends far beyond medicine.

Berwick told a story of a child growing up in poverty who had to fight to get a bone marrow transplant. He finally received it to cure his leukemia only years later to be murdered because of his social circumstances.

He then got the taste of the public sector. In 2008, President Barack Obama selected him as a recess appointee as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. He was called on to change the system after the passage of the Affordable Care Act.

He oversaw seven of the 10 provisions put in place by the act while leading the $820 billion health insurance agency. He led that organization by forming close relationships with other agencies.

"The first rule is that we have to run CMS in the way you want health care to be," Berwick said.

But on the legislative side, the environment was often "toxic" and elected officials weren't making decisions based on what "they feel in the heart" but rather "what they saw on TV," he said, and both parties in Congress were not working together and it was hurting the government's ability to work for the greater good of the people.

"That was entry into high level government," Berwick said, adding that he was excited with the direction the administration was going in universal health care.

His term ended after 17 months when he resigned because it was clear a Republicans would oppose a Senate confirmation for full appointment. He returned full time to his home with his wife, Ann, who is the chairman of the state Department of Public Utilities.

Berwick addressing the Berkshire Brigades.

Now, a year after his term ended in Washington, he is ready to dive back into the public sector with a run for governor.

"I want to stay in the public sector. What governments can do is phenomenally important if it is done right. By right I mean, well run and responsive to the public and in good partnership," he said. "I want to make the best possible community."

If he formally enters the race, he is planning to run on a platform aimed at improving the state's health care system, particularly lowering the costs by focusing on keeping patients healthy rather than "filling beds"; educating children; ending poverty, and solving economic problems the state faces by improving the energy policy.

"I would like to be governor to bring that kind of thinking about proper management, commitment to the poor, total commitment to children and continue swinging the bat at health care. I think I can do that and I'd like a chance to try," he said.

Berwick and Treasurer Stephen Grossman are the only two candidates so far who have indicated they may enter the 2014 race. Berwick hasn't yet announced but is going on a "listening tour" across the state to hear from the people.

Once news leaked out that he was considering a run, the Brigades invited him to speak. Grossman recently spoke at the Brigades' annual dinner.



0 Comments
     
Election Text Ads
Advertise on iBerkshires.com

Where to vote in Berkshire County

State Election
Tuesday, Nov. 4

Voting is from 7 to 8 p.m.
Deadline to register or change party affiliation is Oct.15.


Candidates on the ballot in races for state office; all others on the ballot are unopposed. Links will take you to their campaign websites.

U.S. Senator
Edward J. Markey, Democrat
Brian J. Herr, Republican

Governor/Lieutenant Governor
Charlie Baker & Karyn Polito, Republican
Martha Coakley & Stephen Kerrigan, Democrat
Evan Falchuk & Angus Jennings, United Independent Party
Scott Lively & Shelly Saunders, Independent
Jeff McCormick & Tracy Post, Independent 

Attorney General
Maura Healey, Democratic
John B. Miller, Republican

Secretary of State
William Francis Galvin, Democratic
David D'Arcangelo, Republican
Daniel L. Factor, Green-Rainbow

Treasurer
Deborah B. Goldberg, Democratic
Michael James Heffernan, Republican
Ian T. Jackson, Green-Rainbow

Auditor
Suzanne M. Bump, Democratic
Patricia S. Saint Aubin, Republican
MK Merelice, Green-Rainbow

Municipal Elections

The cities of Pittsfield and North Adams will hold municipal elections for mayor, city council and school committee in 2015

You may vote absentee: if you will be absent from your town or city on election day, have a physical disability that prevents you from voting at the polls or cannot vote at the polls because to religious beliefs.

2010 Special Senate Election Results

Election 2009 Stories

Election Day 2008

 

 

 



Categories:
1st Berkshire (42)
2010 (0)
2011 (69)
2012 (59)
2013 (60)
2014 (69)
2nd Berkshire (29)
3rd Berkshire (16)
4th Berkshire (14)
attorney general (5)
auditor (4)
campaign (65)
candidate forums (48)
city council (38)
Congress (24)
election (69)
endorsements (47)
events (29)
fundraising (10)
governor (26)
letters (9)
local (16)
mayor (47)
news (8)
school committee (20)
selectmen (21)
selectmen (16)
sheriff (28)
state (23)
statements (45)
Archives:
October 2014 (2)
October 2013 (9)
September 2014 (9)
August 2014 (9)
July 2014 (3)
June 2014 (6)
May 2014 (18)
April 2014 (7)
March 2014 (6)
February 2014 (1)
January 2014 (4)
November 2013 (10)
Tags:
Primary North Adams Selectmen Boucher Szczepaniak Berkshire Brigades 1st Mass Williamstown Republican Party Debate Town Election Governor Macdonald U.s. Senate Candidates Debates Cariddi Democratic Party Bissaillon Pittsfield Lieutenant Governor Special Election Letters To The Editor Campaign Bowler Mark Gubernatorial Town Elections Election 2013 Bosley Election 2014 Preliminary Democrat Independent Mayor
Popular Entries:
Election Day 2010
Bosley Looks to Wind Up Legislative Career
Longtime City Councilor Cariddi Kicks Off State Rep Campaign
North Adams Mayoral Debate Video
Three Make Case for 2nd District Seat
Candidates Forum Scheduled for Aug 17
Cariddi Clear Winner in 1st District
There's a New Sheriff in Town
Bissaillon Campaign Hosts Pancake Breakfast
Bump Would Audit Publicly Funded Criminal Defense System
Recent Entries:
Area Democrats Making Final Push For November Election
Coakley Stresses Commitment to Berkshires
Candidates Showing Differences As Governor's Race Heats Up
Gubernatorial Candidates Spar In Springfield Debate
Democratic Leaders Rally Support For Coakley, Party Slate
Democrats, Republicans Open Berkshire Campaign Offices
Treasurer Candidate Heffernan Calls For More Efficient Money Management
Kerrigan Pushes Regional Economic Plan in Pittsfield
Coakley, Baker to Face Off in November Election
Gubernatorial Candidate Berwick Makes Primary Push in Pittsfield


View All
Boys and Girls Cross Country
Boys and Girls Cross Country was held at Windsor Lake on...
Western Mass Golf
Four Berkshire County golfers qualified for the state...
Football: Franklin Tech vs...
McCann Tech holds on for the win Saturday afternoon. McCann...
Colegrove Park Elementary...
Mayor Richard Alcombright and the City Council were updated...
Boys and Girls Cross Country
Berkshire Chamber Greylock
Boys and Girls Cross Country
The Lenox boys and girls teams both cleaned up on Senior...
Volleyball: St. Joe s vs...
Taconic takes 3 from St. Joseph Tuesday night.
Ramblefest 2014
Adams residents enjoyed entertainment, food, and locally...
Girls Soccer: Hoosac Valley...
The Wahconah girls soccer team on Monday advanced to an...
Berkshire County Classic Golf
Francois Benistand, an exchange student from the south of...
Indashio Fashion Show
Fashion designer Indashio holds his second FAME Festival in...
Football: Pittsfield vs...
Senior quarterback Nick Clayton marched his team 80 yards...
Football: Lee vs Drury
FINAL: Lee Wildcats beat Drury 24 -14.
Football: Taconic vs Hoosac...
FINAL: Hoosac Valley 51-14 over Taconic.
Soccer: Mount Greylock vs...
Eric Hirsch scored twice, and Taylor Carlough played strong...
Boys and Girls Cross Country
Boys and Girls Cross Country was held at Windsor Lake on...
Western Mass Golf
Four Berkshire County golfers qualified for the state...
Football: Franklin Tech vs...
McCann Tech holds on for the win Saturday afternoon. McCann...
Colegrove Park Elementary...
Mayor Richard Alcombright and the City Council were updated...
Boys and Girls Cross Country
| Home | A & E | Business | Community News | Dining | Real Estate | Schools | Sports & Outdoors | Berkshires Weather | Weddings
Advertise | Recommend This Page | Help Contact Us | Privacy Policy| User Agreement
iBerkshires.com is owned and operated by: Boxcar Media 102 Main Street, North Adams, MA 01247 -- T. 413-663-3384 F.413-664-4251
© 2000 Boxcar Media LLC - All rights reserved