595 Market St, 2nd floor
San Francisco, California 94105

Tom Debley, author of "The Story of Dr. Sidney R. Garfield: The Visionary who Turned Sick Care into Health Care," will talk about the belief of Dr. Sidney R. Garfield, physician co-founder of Kaiser Permanente, that health care should be a right not a privilege.

From FDR forward politicians have tried and failed to bring Americans universal health care. Garfield was an advocate for universal care throughout his life after entering medicine at the low point of the Great Depression when the nation felt desperation for quality care at an affordable price. He was a man who went from obscurity running a Depression era hospital serving the men who built the Colorado River Aqueduct to the physician leader behind one of the most successful non-profit, group medical practice health care delivery systems in history. At the end of his life, former U.S. Health Education & Welfare Secretary Joseph Califano said of him, "Let us hope that ... we can match the sweeping vision and the earthy practicality of leaders like Sidney Garfield."

Dr. Garfield, early in his career, said quite simply that people don't want to be sick. He did not invent prepayment or group medical practice. Nor was he the first advocate for the prevention of illness. His genius lay in figuring out how to knit together prepayment, group practice and prevention into a delivery system - everything under one roof with prepayment paying doctors to keep people healthy and to care for them when they are sick. Until then, doctors were paid only when sick people came to see them.

Debley tells the story of this American born to Russian immigrants who reluctantly became a doctor at their insistence, and who went on to become a hero in World War II by building the biggest civilian medical care program on the Home Front.

Read a review of Debley's book at: http://www.insidebayarea.com/columnists/ci_12805277

$8 members, $15 non-members.

Official Website: https://tickets.commonwealthclub.org/open.asp?show=1359

Added by FullCalendar on August 6, 2009

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