Decision-makers on Medicare now have a fresh voice from the health center community to listen to. Dr. Thomas M. Dean, a board-certified family physician from Horizon Health Care, a Community Health Center in South Dakota, will now sit on the so-called MedPAC panel. MedPAC is an independent federal body created in 1997 to advise Congress on Medicare payment policy, access to care, quality of care, and other issues affecting Medicare. Dean is a great choice. About 7.5 percent of the 16 million patients that health centers serve rely on Medicare. Also, Dr. Dean served as a National Health Service Corps physician in 1978 and is also the former President of the National Rural Health Association (NRHA). Dean’s term on MedPAC will run through 2010.