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11 FORMER BOARD MEMBERS ENDORSE SALE OF GHA TO HUMANA; MEMBER OF CONGRESS, LABOR LEADER AND HEALTH EXPERTS OFFER TESTIMONIALS

 WASHINGTON, July 23 /PRNewswire/ -- The proposed sale of Group Health Association to Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) today was endorsed by 11 former members of GHA's board of trustees, while a member of Congress, health experts and a former labor leader praised the Louisville, Ky.- based company as an excellent employer and health care provider.
 In a statement released today, the former board members said Humana "has extensive resources and can provide the capital that Group Health Association vitally needs. We believe this sale is in the best interests of Group Health and its staff."
 The 11 former board members represent more than 30 years of service on the board, and served between 1972 and 1993.
 The former trustees said they support the sale because Humana has agreed to continue member benefits under existing plans for all GHA members; offer continued health care coverage for all GHA members; seek to maintain current patient relationships with Group Health physicians; provide for continued consumer involvement; improve service; and improve and expand facilities in the region.
 The former trustees include Christine Baum, Virginia Brockington, Perry Cohen, Dianne Felton, Joan Goldwasser, Carol MacIntyre, Gertrude Ruttenberg, Marvin Schneiderman, Jerry Solon, Daniel Sullivan and Ann C. Wilson.
 Felton, who previously served as chairperson of the board of trustees, said "these trustees know what they are talking about. Most of them lived and breathed GHA's financial difficulties over the last 10 years, and know that Humana is the best hope for Group Health and its members."
 In a related development, a member of Congress, a former union official and two health care experts discussed their experiences with Humana.
 The list includes Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), whose Chicago district includes the former not-for-profit Michael Reese Health Plan which was acquired by Humana in 1991; Jim Doherty, president of the Group Health Association of America; Bob Eisler, former associate executive director of Humana Prime Health and former business representative for Local 96 in Kansas City; and Patricia B. White, R.N., assistant executive director for professional services at the Michael Reese Health Plan.
 At a forum for GHA members and employees Wednesday evening, Rush said he and the local community were initially skeptical of Humana's plans to acquire the financially troubled Michael Reese Hospital two years ago.
 Rush said he had first doubted "whether Humana could maintain the hospital and provide the type of service we had become accustomed to for more than 80 years. I could not believe that (for-profit Humana) would give a hoot about my little local neighborhood."
 But Rush said that in the aftermath of the acquisition, "I was pleasantly surprised. I am now a fan of Humana, because Humana saved Michael Reese Hospital and they helped to maintain a level of health care delivery to my neighborhood. Had it not been for Humana, the hospital would have closed down and we would have had a dark, empty shell of a building.
 "Humana made and maintained a commitment to my neighborhood. They saved the neighborhood from experiencing a gaping hole in their health care delivery system," Rush said.
 Eisler, former associate executive director of Humana Prime Health and former business representative for Local 96, said that three years after Humana acquired Prime Health, "the essential parts of the health plan, the things that are really important, have been left intact."
 Eisler noted that in 1990, "Humana offered a lifeline to our health plan. We were looking for a way to survive, and Humana came through for us. I am convinced that, had we not merged with Humana, we would not be in business today."
 He said, "Humana has respected what we had already established and has done everything they can to make sure that our high quality of care and services are maintained."
 Eisler said that "in my opinion, Humana has a desire to provide top quality medical care and do so in a cost-effective manner. In Kansas City, they made no effort to make changes in the way Prime Health provides care. All in all, we've gotten along very well. Looking back on the last two and a half years, it has been a pretty positive experience."
 Patricia White of the Michael Reese Health Plan today commended Humana for providing the capital needed to maintain and upgrade the plan's 22 medical centers, improving member services and enhancing quality assurance programs.
 According to White, "What we had was good. Humana helped to make an excellent plan even better."
 GHA, facing a proliferation of competitors, reduced market share and spiraling health care costs, is conducting a referendum among its 134,000 members to approve a proposal to sell GHA to Humana Inc. for approximately $50 million.
 The sale is subject to the approval of insurance commissioners in Maryland and Virginia, regulatory authorities in the District of Columbia, federal agencies and a two-thirds vote of approval by GHA's members voting.
 -0- 7/23/93
 /CONTACT: Edward Segal for Group Health Association, 202-333-7966/
 (HUM)


CO: Group Health Association; Humana Inc. ST: District of Columbia IN: HEA SU

TW-MH -- DC031 -- 5311 07/23/93 16:52 EDT
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Date:Jul 23, 1993
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