Illinois hospitals install first D.C. lobbyist

By Bruce Japsen
Posted July 14, 2010 at 10:23 a.m.

The Illinois Hospital Association today named long-time Democratic congressional aide Kimberly C. Parker as its first vice president of federal relations, opening the powerful state lobby’s first-ever office in Washington, D.C.

As health reform is implemented during the next four years, IHA said it wanted a stronger presence in Washington. Hospitals in Illinois are particularly concerned about rates they are paid by the Medicaid health insurance program for the poor, which is funded partly from federal dollars but also from state coffers that are bleeding red ink.

Parker has ties to key Congressional leaders and will be “will be responsible for interfacing with the federal government on key hospital and health care issues, including the U.S. Congress, the executive branch and federal agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services,” IHA said in a statement.

Parker most recently served as chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, an Illinois Democrat from Chicago’s South Side. Parker was also an aide to U.S. Rep. Laura Richardson, a California Democrat representing the Los Angeles and Long Beach area. Her background also includes a stint working in the legislative area for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“Her depth of experience and knowledge about Congress and key health care issues are especially critical,” said IHA President Maryjane Wurth. “Hospitals are on the frontlines to transform health care and ensure that we have a sustainable, quality system going forward as health reform is implemented.”

IHA said Parker reports to Howard Peters, who will continue his role as IHA’s senior vice president of government relations. IHA represents 200 Illinois hospitals.


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