N. Lee Rucker, a health policy advocate in Washington, D.C., will be the keynote speaker at the Ohio Northern University’s Medicare health and wellness event in the McIntosh Ballroom on Friday, Feb. 5.

The event, free and open to the public, will also feature a panel discussion concerning Medicare where regional experts will be on hand to answer attendee questions. Pharmacy and political science students will conduct a research colloquium poster presentation. The event will also feature a health fair and wellness screening for those in attendance in conjunction with ONU HealthWise, the University’s wellness program. ONU HealthWise provides health screening and wellness services to ONU employees, students and citizens of the Hardin County community.

During the keynote address at 1 p.m., Rucker will speak on "Medicare’s History, Hallmarks, and Hurdles: As Ohio Goes, so Goes the Nation?" Rucker is a seasoned health policy expert who has spent decades in the nation’s capital working to enhance the value of Medicare. Through her advocacy and public policy roles she has worked alongside physicians, the pharmaceutical industry, pharmacists, the National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE), and with the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) Public Policy Institute. AARP is the country’s largest advocacy group for older adults. At AARP Rucker honed her expertise in Medicare Part D and the voluntary prescription drug benefit. Since 2013, she has been an independent policy consultant based in suburban Washington, D.C. 

This event also features a panel discussion, beginning at 2:15 p.m., to discuss Medicare’s current status and projections for the future, and answer questions. Members of the panel will include Rucker, Stacie Maas, senior vice president, pharmacy practice and government affair for the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) in Washington, D.C. Dr. Roger Young, ONU professor emeritus from the Dicke College of Business Administration; and Dr. Cynthia Olsen, professor, family medicine and geriatrics at Wright State University.