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Tommy G. Thompson - Health and Human Services Secretary & Michael J. McCurdy, founder/publisher of HealthNewsDigest.com
Picture taken 5/25/04 at ground breaking ceremony for Weill Cornell Medical College New Ambulatory Care and Medical Education Building on East 70th street and York Avenue in New York City

Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson is the nationís leading advocate for the health and welfare of all Americans. He is the 19th individual to serve as Secretary of the department, which employs more than 60,000 personnel and has a fiscal year 2001 budget of $429 billion.

Secretary Thompson has dedicated his professional life to public service, most recently serving as governor of Wisconsin since 1987. Secretary Thompson made state history when he was re-elected to office for a third term in 1994 and a fourth term in 1998.

During his 14 years as governor, Secretary Thompson focused on revitalizing Wisconsinís economy. He also gained national attention for his leadership on welfare reform, expanded access to health care for low-income people, and education.

In 1996, Secretary Thompson enacted Wisconsin Works, or "W-2," the stateís landmark welfare-to-work legislation, which served as a national model for welfare reform. The program required participants to work, while at the same time providing the services and support to make the transition to work feasible and permanent. W-2 provided a safety net through child care, health care, transportation and training assistance. Wisconsinís monthly welfare caseload declined by more than 90 percent, while the economic status of those taking part in W-2 improved. The average family on AFDC had been 30 percent below the federal poverty line. However, at the average wage of people leaving W-2, families were 30 percent above the poverty line.

More recently, Secretary Thompson worked to extend health insurance to many low-income children and families. As of November 2000, The BadgerCare program -- Wisconsinís Medicaid/State Childrenís Health Insurance Program for uninsured families -- had enrolled more than 77,000 individuals. In addition, Wisconsinís Pathways to Independence was the nationís first program to allow the disabled to enter the workforce without the fear of losing health benefits. The program provides ready access to a coordinated system of services and benefits counseling. As governor, Thompson also created FamilyCare, designed to help elderly and disabled citizens, and allow them to receive care in their homes for as long as possible.

Also as governor, Thompson created the nationís first parental school choice program in 1990, allowing low-income Milwaukee families to send children to the private or public school of their choice. He also created Wisconsinís Council on Model Academic Standards, which implemented high academic standards for English language arts, math, science and social studies. Thompson also made unprecedented investments in the University of Wisconsin System through building projects and initiatives to attract and retain world-class faculty while keeping tuition affordable for students.

Secretary Thompson began his career in public service in 1966 as a representative in Wisconsinís state Assembly. He was elected assistant Assembly minority leader in 1973 and Assembly minority leader in 1981. Secretary Thompson has received numerous awards for his public service, including the Anti-Defamation Leagueís Distinguished Public Service Award. In 1997, the Secretary received Governing Magazineís Public Official of the Year Award, and the Horatio Alger Award in 1998. The Secretary has also served as chairman of the National GovernorsíAssociation, the Education Commission of the States and the Midwestern Governorsí Conference. Secretary Thompson also served in the Wisconsin National Guard and the Army Reserve.

Additional Information
Born: November 19, 1941 in Elroy, Wisconsin
Senate Confirmation: January 24, 2001
Sworn in: February 2, 2001
Education: B.S. 1963, J.D. 1966, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Family: Married to Sue Ann with three children -- Tommi, Kelli and Jason

HealthNewsDigest.com was launched on July 1, 1999. Starting as a weekly with just ten stories on the Home Page, today HealthNewsDigest.com publishes 40 stories every Monday morning and is the Health News channel on AvantGo, the handheld palm device service, with more than registered users. In addition, HND is syndicated to hundreds of major health industry websites, with daily feeds to Latin America, Europe and Asia. Also, over 900 news editors, directors, and health columnists subscribe and have free access to use all content.

Mr. McCurdy is a highly experienced TV producer in the health industry. He has created and produced over 700 productions for television. From 30 second commercials, to one-hour specials, and half-hour syndicated television series. Prior to founding HealthyTelevisionProductions, Inc. and HealthNewsDigest.com, Mr. McCurdy was president of a wholly-owned broadcast/electronic media subsidiary of a major international adverting/public relations agency. While holding this post, Mr. McCurdy created the first news and information service transmitted by satellite.

Mr. McCurdy is a member of the New York Press Club, the Association of Health Care Journalists, and the Online News Association. Mr. McCurdy also serves on the March of Dimes National Communications Advisory Council.

Mr. McCurdy was also the supervising producer for the first major corporation stock holder meeting held offshore and transmitted via satellite. Mr. McCurdy is a nationally known guest speaker on the use of electronicmedia. For further information on advertising on HealthNewsDigest.com or television production and distribution, please contact:

Michael J. McCurdy
Founder/Publisher/Executive Producer
HealthNewsDigest.com
1461A First Avenue
New York, NY 10021
Phone: 877.634.9180
cell: 917.843.8637
[email protected]
[email protected]

www.HealthNewsDigest.com


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