Shalala addresses Sen. Kennedy’s passing

University of Miami President Donna E. Shalala held a press conference yesterday to address the passing of Sen. Ted Kennedy on August 25.

For nine terms, Kennedy represented Massachusetts in the U.S. Senate.

“He was a giant,” Shalala said. “He was the most effective senator of his generation and the four generations before him.”

During the conference, Shalala referenced Kennedy’s advocacy for human rights. She also referenced Kennedy’s ability to reach across to the aisle to the conservative senators to get his legislation passed.

“Every single bill he passed had bipartisan support,” she said.

After Kennedy was diagnosed with a brain tumor in May 2008, he spent time in an apartment in Key Biscayne to stay out of the cold temperatures.

Here, UM doctors helped treat him.

“Whatever he need, we provided,” Shalala said.

Shalala thinks with Kennedy’s passing, the fight for health care reform will have new inspiration.

“There will not be wind to their backs, but Ted Kennedy will be at their backs,” she said.