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Chicago Public Health Comm. Terry Mason discusses Obama and McCain health care policies and calls for holistic approach

Catholic Colloquium lecture series at Saint Xavier University

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(From left: SXU Vice President for University Mission and Heritage Sr. Susan Sanders, R.S.M., Ph.D., Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Terry Mason, M.D., and SXU School of Nursing Interim Dean Kay Thurn, Psy.D., R.N. Mason spoke about Catholic social teaching in relation to American health policy on Oct. 1 as part of SXU's 2008-09 Catholic Colloquium lecture series.

Chicago (Oct. 2, 2008) “Absence of disease is not health,” Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Terry Mason, M.D., said during a lecture last night on Saint Xavier University’s Chicago campus. Rather, Mason said, health is a combination of behavioral, cultural, economic, educational, physical and spiritual factors. 

Mason spoke on Catholic social teaching in relation to U.S. health care policy as part of Saint Xavier University’s 2008-09 Catholic Colloquium Series. He discussed the proposed health care policies of presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain. He also described some of the major problems facing America’s health care system, such as the need for identifying each patient in a unique way and the soaring cost of American health care. 

“The United States spends twice as much as comparative countries to achieve lower life expectancies,” Mason said.

Mason was appointed Public Health Commissioner by Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley in 2005 and is leading the mission to make Chicago one of the nation’s healthiest cities. He champions holistic approaches to health management, the role of family in building healthier communities and the elimination of disparities for underserved communities.

He served as chief of Urology at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center in Chicago and as assistant professor of surgery at the University of Illinois at Chicago's (UIC) College of Medicine. He is a faculty member at UIC’s School of Public Health.

Mason’s popular radio talk show, Doctor in the House, airs on WVON radio each week, and he is a frequent guest on local as well as national television and radio programs.

The 2008-09 Catholic Colloquium series focuses on four key principles of Catholic social teaching, which include human dignity; the common good; solidarity with those who suffer, especially the poor; and subsidiartity, where those who are closest to issues are the ones encouraged most to participate in decisions affecting their lives.

The annual series is sponsored by the Office for University Mission and Heritage. For more information about the lecture series, please contact Kathy Mareska at (773) 298- 3981.