The first in a series of community forums on universal health care will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 18, at the La Farge Community Center, 202 N. State St.

Titled “Our Dysfunctional Healthcare System: Which Way Forward?”, the forum will feature a panel of three healthcare professionals: Dr. Mark Neumann, Dr. Brian Woody and Emma Hood, RN. Topics of discussion will include the current U.S. healthcare system, the Canadian single-payer system and the current changes and alternatives being proposed in this country.

The goal of this forum series is for the citizens of Vernon County to have open, non-partisan conversations about improving our current healthcare system. Other forums are planned for Hillsborough, Stoddard, Westby and Viroqua, dates and times to come.

Woody, a family medicine doctor in Viroqua and partner in the Hirsch Clinic who has been in practice for more than 20 years, will discuss pitfalls of our current system and outline other proposed systems. Neumann, a recently retired pediatrician who practiced in Africa, Madison and La Crosse from 1980 until 2019, will discuss what comprehensive, single-payer coverage could look like in the U.S. And Hood, a registered nurse who grew up in Canada and trained in nursing there, will contrast the Canadian single-payer system to the U.S. system.

The forum is sponsored by the Vernon County Democratic Party, and is free and open to the public.

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