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"The Health Care Evolution: What Does It Mean for Western New York?" will be the topic of a daylong seminar Wednesday involving several hundred major local employers, business leaders, physicians and health-care providers.

The event, sponsored by Independent Health, The Buffalo News and the Greater Buffalo Partnership will take place at the Hyatt Regency Buffalo.

Health care is the fastest growing employment sector in the local economy and is going through dramatic change as national and local delivery systems move toward increased consolidation and deregulation.

The conference is designed to help participants prepare for these changes.

The keynote address will be given by Dr. John E. Wennberg, director of the Center for Evaluative Clinical Services at the Dartmouth Medical School.

Debra Konopko, assistant counsel to Gov. Pataki, will speak on state issues.

A five-member panel will provide individual perspectives.

Panel members will be: Frank Colantuono, president and CEO of Independent Health; Mark Jurenovich, a labor relations specialist with the Civil Service Employees Association; Andrew J. Rudnick, president and CEO of the Greater Buffalo Partnership; Dr. Michael J. Tronolone, president of the Individual Practice Association of Western New York; and Charles B. Van Vorst, president and CEO of Millard Fillmore Health System.

The city of St. Louis already has experienced many of the changes facing this area and there will be a presentation and discussion on what was done right and wrong.

A representative of the St. Louis Business Health Coalition will present a case study.

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