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Steve Forbes, former presidential candidate and editor-in-chief of Forbes magazine, will be among the key speakers Oct. 30 at the Independent Health Foundation's third health care forum.

The event in Adam's Mark Hotel also will feature Lesley Stahl, co-editor of "60 Minutes"; Dr. Donald Berwick, president and chief executive officer of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement; and Robert W. Wilmers, M&T Bank chairman and chief executive officer.

Wilmers, head of a task force studying the region's hospital system, will be among a host of local business, health insurance and health care officials who will participate in the forum.

The forum is co-sponsored by The Buffalo News, the University at Buffalo School of Management and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. For more information, call 635-7802 or visit the Web site at

Benefit to aid Sierra Leone children

The Buffalo Chapter of Concerned Citizens and Friends of Sierra Leone is sponsoring a fund-raiser in collaboration with the United Africans Association of America at 7 p.m. Nov. 3 in Daemen College's Wick Center.

"Arasheke II" is a dinner and dance and silent auction to benefit the thousands of children left orphaned and maimed from Sierra Leone's decades-long civil war.

The event will feature African cuisine and music. For tickets and information, call Harold or Barbara Cole at 832-8039.

Canisius College to hold open houses

Canisius College's Graduate School of Education and Human Services will hold open houses at 10 a.m. Nov. 10 and 7 p.m. Nov. 12 in Grupp Fireside Lounge of the Richard E. Winter Student Center on campus.

Information will be available on the graduate school's two-days-per-week elementary and secondary certification program and its Saturday courses in elementary certification and general education.

College officials will also be on hand to discuss the graduate school's programs in school administration and supervision, deaf education, reading, physical education, sports administration, counselor education, college student personnel administration, special education, and health and human performance.

For information or to make a reservation, contact the college's graduate education office.

Program will offer free college credits

High school students who complete the Erie County Sheriff's Department Explorer Program will receive three college credits toward a criminal-justice degree at Erie Community College.

Erie County Sheriff Patrick Gallivan and ECC President William Mariani were to sign the agreement allowing the credits today at the ECC City Campus.

Two years in the making, the agreement allows high school students in Explorer Post 505 who have completed 45 training credit hours to receive three credits. Qualifying students will be able to enroll in the ECC criminal-justice work-study seminar, which combines volunteer hours at a work site with classroom instruction.

Honor set for UB president, Moog CEO

Buffalo Niagara WorldConnect will present its highest honor, the Citation Award, to University at Buffalo President William R. Greiner and Robert T. Brady, president and chief executive officer of Moog, at a noon luncheon Nov. 8 in the Buffalo Convention Center.

Master of ceremonies will be Saul Elkin, actor, director and founder of Shakespeare in Delaware Park, who will portray President William McKinley and offer excerpts from McKinley's last foreign-policy address.

Buffalo Niagara WorldConnect, the union between the Buffalo Council on World Affairs and the Council for International Visitors, is a nonprofit organization that fosters international connections and person-to-person exchanges.

For information and reservations, call Marcus L. Wise at 852-6406.

Hilbert faculty holds forum

The Hilbert College faculty held a forum today on the implications of terrorist activity from the perspective of different academic disciplines.

The free "Interdisciplinary Forum on Terrorism," held in Bogel Hall on the Hilbert campus, 5200 South Park Ave., Hamburg, was moderated by paralegal studies professor Roger Stone and included the following faculty: Joan Crouse, history; John D'Amico, economics; Yvonne Downes, criminal justice; Katherine Eskew, human services; Andrew Kolin, political science; Donna Elgie Levin, psychology; and the Rev. Bernard Olszewski, religious studies.

Insurer gets access to more customers

HealthNow New York has received approval from the state Insurance Department to offer traditional and managed-care health coverage in Central New York.

HealthNow, the Buffalo-based parent company of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Western New York, has 11,000 members in Central New York through the operation of a self-funded program at Cornell University and Ithaca College.

The approval will give the company access to far more customers in that region of the state. Among its main competitors will be Excellus.

Excellus, with headquarters in Rochester, formed in 1998 when the Blues plans in Rochester, Central New York and Utica-Watertown joined together. It recently merged Univera Healthcare into its operations, which will allow it to sell traditional health insurance in the Buffalo-area market.

Blues plans, as part of the rules of their association, are not allowed to compete directly in the same market.

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