The West Wireless Health Institute announced today that Rodger Currie has been named senior vice president of government affairs, a newly created department that will focus on the implementation of non-partisan policy solutions to lower the cost of health care.

(Photo: (Logo: Currie, who will be based in Washington, D.C., has a long and distinguished career in governmental affairs and legislative policy relating to healthcare and brings his expertise to advance the mission of the Institute to use medical research to lower the costs of health care.

"We are focused on thoughtfully disrupting the current, unsustainable trajectory of growth in health care costs," said Gary West, chairman and founder of the West Wireless Health Institute. "Rodger Currie's extensive health care experience in Washington D.C., combined with the independent and non-partisan status of our institute, will help us bring a fresh, rational voice in policy and regulatory discussions that will benefit patients and the country as a whole." "Our nation's evolving health care system needs to put the patient first while addressing out-of-control spending growth," said Dr.

Joseph M. Smith, chief medical officer and chief science officer of the West Wireless Health Institute. "The Institute is uniquely positioned to provide an experienced and independent voice to help shape health care policy - emphasizing patient-centered innovation, prioritizing value over volume, assuring access while limiting excess, resulting in a high-value health care system with long-term sustainability." The Institute is part of the West Health Initiative which includes the West Health Policy Center and the West Health Investment Fund, all solely funded by pioneering philanthropists Gary and Mary West.  These separate vehicles share a similar mission to lower health care costs through their work in four focus areas: -- Infrastructure independence through wireless technology that can bring the right care to the right patient, wherever they are.

-- An efficient medical marketplace so patients and providers will have clear access to information about the costs and quality of their care, and help eliminate waste.

-- Practical regulations for more efficient approvals of new technologies as well as rational reimbursement and incentives based on rewarding value and patient outcomes.

-- Liberating data to help doctors and patients harness any and all relevant data, analyze it, and apply it effectively for the best possible care at a lower cost.

Rodger Currie brings extensive experience to West Health, most recently as a partner in the Health Care and Government Strategies Practice Groups at Foley Hoag LLP, where he advised biotechnology companies, medical device firms, other health care providers, and trade associations on federal legislative and regulatory issues in health care and the life sciences.

Previously, Currie served as senior vice president for the renowned health care inventor and entrepreneur Dean Kamen, founder of DEKA Research & Development.  Prior to that he served for six years as vice president for global government affairs at Amgen, the world's largest biotechnology company, where he led the strategic planning and execution of legislative initiatives ranging from Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement for cancer, dialysis, arthritis, and osteoporosis treatments to FDA regulatory issues, intellectual property matters, and various tax priorities.

Currie also served for six years as senior vice president for law & federal affairs for the Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), where he led the trade association's highly successful advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill and with the Administration, including the development and enactment of the landmark 2003 Medicare prescription drug benefit legislation.

Before joining the private sector, he served in several positions on Capitol Hill, including majority counsel to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce where he advised the committee chairman as well as House leadership on federal health care programs and legislation, with particular responsibility for matters relating to the FDA, CMS, and NIH.  Currie was counsel of record for the historic FDA Modernization Act as well as for the Medicare, Medicaid, and Children's Health Insurance provisions of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997.

He earned both his undergraduate and law degrees from Georgetown University and volunteers as a Reserve Police Officer with the DC Metropolitan Police Department.

Currie will begin his position at West Health on June 18.

ABOUT THE WEST WIRELESS HEALTH INSTITUTE The West Wireless Health Institute ( is the only medical research organization in the world focused on lowering health care costs through technology and innovation. The Institute was founded in 2009 by the Gary and Mary West Foundation, and is based in San Diego, California, the global center for health care innovation.

SOURCE West Wireless Health Institute -0- 05/29/2012 /Photo: PRN Photo Desk, /Web Site: CO: West Wireless Health Institute ST: California District of Columbia IN: HEA CPR TLS SU: PER PRN -- DC14610 -- 0000 05/29/2012 11:00:00 EDT http://www.prnewswire.c