Illinois Doctor Invited to Obama's Health Care Speech

Dr. Janet Albers tries to connect uninsured with health care

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    President Barack Obama delivered a sweeping speech to Congress announcing his plan to repair the sputtering economy on Feb. 24, 2009.

    An Illinois doctor spearheading an effort to provide free medical care to the uninsured will be on hand Wednesday evening when the president makes a rare address to a joint session of Congress to push health insurance reform.

    Dr. Janet Albers of the Southern Illinois University of Medicine is an invited guest of Sen. Dick Durbin, who called her the "perfect person to be here and react to the president's message."

    A recipient of the Humanism in Medicine award from SIU, Dr. Albers' program is called CATCH, which stands for Coordinated Access to Community Health.

    It aims to identify providers willing to work pro bono. It also seeks to offer additional support for the uninsured, such as prescription medicine, transportation and access to specialty care, the Chicago Tribune explained.

    Albers told the State Journal-Register in Springfield that she was "honored to be asked and very thrilled" by the invitation.

    "I’m excited for [Obama] to lay out his plan, and hopefully we will come to some sort of agreement that will improve the health of all of our citizens," Albers said.