“We applaud the Obama Administration’s recess appointment of Donald Berwick, M.D. to serve as Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

“Dr. Berwick is uniquely qualified for the job of implementing health reform. He brings years of experience leading health care system transformations, and is a recognized innovator for his efforts to reduce medical errors and improve the quality of care while reducing costs.

“Here in Massachusetts, Dr. Berwick is known not only as a health care policy expert but also as an excellent physician. A passionate advocate for patients’ rights, Berwick has launched groundbreaking initiatives to put control of health care decisions in the hands of informed patients and their families.

“It is for these reasons, and in response to a firestorm of baseless partisan attacks on Dr. Berwick’s work and distortions of his positions, that Community Catalyst last week joined 90 of the nation’s top consumer, purchaser and provider groups organized by the Campaign for Better Care to defend Dr. Berwick and strongly endorse his nomination.

“Dr. Berwick enjoys strong support from doctors, consumer advocates, hospitals, and several former directors of CMS – from both sides of the political aisle. It is regretful that a recess appointment is necessary, but it is.

“It is critical that we have an experienced and patient-centric expert in place to lead implementation of our new sweeping health reform law – and Dr. Berwick is that person. Now it’s time to put politics aside and unite behind him so the hard work of fixing our health care system can continue.”

About Community Catalyst

Community Catalyst is a national non-profit advocacy organization dedicated to quality affordable health care for all.  Since 1997, Community Catalyst has been working to build the consumer and community leadership required to transform the American health system.  With the belief that this transformation will happen when consumers are fully engaged and have an organized voice, Community Catalyst works in partnership with national, state and local consumer organizations, policymakers, and foundations, providing leadership and support to change the health care system so it serves everyone-especially vulnerable members of society.  For more information, visit www.communitycatalyst.org.