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The program consists of the panelists answering questions generated by small group discussions.

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A By The People Special: Prescription for Change

Louisiana Public Broadcasting hosts Fourth By The People Deliberation Day on Saturday, October 13, 2007.

By the People is a special initiative organized by MacNeil/Lehrer Productions to bring the views of informed, “ordinary” citizens to a national discussion on the important issues of the day. LPB has chosen Healthcare as the topic for its Citizen Deliberation and broadcast the Plenary Session of the healthcare forum live on October 13th. Media will be available soon for online viewing.

The topic for the forum is healthcare issues affecting Louisiana, especially healthcare reform.

Our moderators are the co-hosts of Louisiana Public Square: Beth Courtney, President and CEO of Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB) and Craig Freeman, Assistant Professor at The Manship School of Mass Communication at LSU.

Our panelists are:
Fred Cerise, M.D. , head of the Charity hospital system (LSU Health Care Services Division),
David Hood, PAR health consultant and former head of LA Dept. of Health and Hospitals,
Barry Erwin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Council for a Better Louisiana (CABL), and
Roxane Townsend, M.D., Secretary, Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.

Biographies of the panelists can be found in the Louisiana Public Square page.

The program consists of the panelists answering questions generated by small group discussions held earlier in the day.

One hundred randomly selected Louisiana citizens are being sent balanced background materials. They will be randomly assigned to moderated small groups to discuss the issues in the context of responsibility and the rights of citizenship that are the cornerstone of American democracy. The idea is to gather diverse groups of citizens who do not usually talk about civic and policy issues.

As part of their small group discussions, they develop questions to ask a balanced panel of experts.

Prior to their deliberations, participants take a survey on the issues. At the end of the event, they fill out another survey. The citizens' changes of opinion from before and after their deliberation are analyzed. These results are shared with the larger public and with opinion-leaders and policy-makers. These informed views often challenge the conventional wisdom about public priorities and concerns.

The LSU Office of Policy Research selects at random the citizens chosen for small group participation.

"Dialogues in Democracy: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness is a joint project of By The People and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Support for Louisiana Public Broadcasting’s local Dialogue in Democracy project is provided by MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, and by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. By The People is nonpartisan and doesn’t support any particular policy, position or viewpoint. Its sole purpose is to encourage informed dialogue.”

For more information, contact Bob Neese or Al Godoy at 800-272-8161 or 767-5660 in the Baton Rouge area.

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