Sessions and Themes
- Shifting the paradigm: Vikas Saini
- Magical thinking and Modern medicine: Harvey Fineberg
- What makes us do it?
- What will it take to get us there?: Don Berwick
- What are the knowledge gaps in avoiding avoidable care?
- Case discussions
- What are the ethical issues?
- Medical journals and the issue of avoidable care
- The schizophrenic life of the hospital CEO
- A reason to change: Shannon Brownlee
- Social responsibility of physicians: Bernard Lown
- Behavior-changing Best practices
- Global dimensions of unnecessary care: Julio Frenk
- Payment mechanisms and the Culture of medicine
- Choosing wisely and beyond: What are the next steps?
- How can patients help drive the needed change?
The Avoiding Avoidable Care Conference will bring together clinicians, policymakers, and thought-leaders from all over the US. Our list of speakers include:
Former Administrator, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Don Berwick is the United States’ leading advocate for high-quality healthcare. He has just stepped down as the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. For 22 years prior, he was the founding CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, a nonprofit dedicated to improving healthcare around the world. A pediatrician by background, he has also served on the faculty of the Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Berwick sees tremendous unrealized potential in American medicine. Despite our outstanding knowledge base, expert practitioners, and world-class equipment, most Americans do not have access to safe, high-quality care. Dr. Berwick presents a vision of how, through well-applied IT, new methods of healthcare delivery, and effective legislation, America can forge a system that satisfies our patients, our wallets, and our moral imperative to care for those who need care. His focus on improving quality has gained him a reputation as a powerful motivator who can push institutions and individuals to do their work better.
For his important role in designing Britain’s healthcare system, Dr. Berwick was named a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in London and Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire. He is a professor at the Harvard Medical School and the recipient of many awards, including the Ernest A. Codman Award, the American Hospital Association’s Award of Honor, and the Heinz award for Public Policy. His over 130 articles have appeared in professional journals on such topics as healthcare policy and healthcare quality management. His books include Curing Health Care and New Rules: Regulation, Markets and the Quality of American Health Care.
Secretary of Health and Human Services
Secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr. JudyAnn Bigby, oversees 17 state agencies and serves in the Cabinet of Governor Deval Patrick. Her broad range of experience — as a primary care physician, professor, researcher and health policy expert — gives her unique insights into how the state can best serve the people of the Commonwealth.
One of Secretary Bigby’s top priorities is ensuring the state delivers high-quality and accessible services to Massachusetts residents. Some of the program areas she oversees include health care including the state’s Medicaid program; child welfare; public health; disabilities; veterans affairs; and elder affairs. Since her appointment, Secretary Bigby has successfully implemented many aspects of Massachusetts’ highly successful health care reform law. The state has adopted its first Olmstead Plan to address the long term needs of elders and persons with disabilities in community settings and she championed the creation of the Office of the Child Advocate to improve the state’s child welfare system.
Until her appointment, Dr. Bigby was the Medical Director of Community Health Programs at Brigham & Women’s Hospital. She was also Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Director of the school’s Center of Excellence in Women’s Health.
Prior to her appointment she served on many boards and expert panels including the Boston Public Health Commission, the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Assuring the Health of the Public in the 21st Century, and the Minority Women’s Health Panel of Experts for the US Department of Health and Human Services. She was President of the Society of General Internal Medicine, the only national organization representing primary care internal medicine doctors, from 2003 to 2004.
Dr. Bigby holds a B.A. from Wellesley College and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School. She lives in Jamaica Plain.
President of the Institute of Medicine
Harvey V. Fineberg is President of the Institute of Medicine. He served as Provost of Harvard University from 1997 to 2001, following thirteen years as Dean of the Harvard School of Public Health. He has devoted most of his academic career to the fields of health policy and medical decision making. His past research has focused on the process of policy development and implementation, assessment of medical technology, evaluation and use of vaccines, and dissemination of medical innovations.
Dr. Fineberg helped found and served as president of the Society for Medical Decision Making and has been a consultant to the World Health Organization. At the Institute of Medicine, he has chaired and served on a number of panels dealing with health policy issues, ranging from AIDS to new medical technology. He also served as a member of the Public Health Council of Massachusetts (1976-1979), as chairman of the Health Care Technology Study Section of the National Center for Health Services Research (1982-1985), and as president of the Association of Schools of Public Health (1995-1996).
Dr. Fineberg is co-author of the books Clinical Decision Analysis, Innovators in Physician Education, and The Epidemic that Never Was, an analysis of the controversial federal immunization program against swine flu in 1976. He has co-edited several books on such diverse topics as AIDS prevention, vaccine safety, and understanding risk in society. He has also authored numerous articles published in professional journals. Dr. Fineberg is the recipient of several honorary degrees and the Stephen Smith Medal for Distinguished Contributions in Public Health from the New York Academy of Medicine. He earned his bachelor’s and doctoral degrees from Harvard University.
Dean of the Faculty, Harvard School of Public Health
Since January 2009, Dr. Julio Frenk is Dean of the Faculty at the Harvard School of Public Health and T & G Angelopoulos Professor of Public Health and International Development, a joint appointment between the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and HSPH.
Dr. Frenk served as the Minister of Health of Mexico from 2000 to 2006, where he launched a major reform effort towards universal health insurance. Prior to that, he founded the National Institute of Public Health of Mexico, which has become a premier academic center in the developing world. Dr. Frenk has also held leadership positions at the Mexican Health Foundation, the World Health Organization, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Carso Health Institute. In addition, he chairs the boards of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation and of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health.
Among other professional and scientific associations, Dr. Frenk is a member of the US Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Medicine of Mexico. In September of 2008, he received the Clinton Global Citizen Award for changing “the way practitioners and policy makers across the world think about health.”
The Social Responsibility of Physicians
During a research career spanning more than 50 years, Dr. Lown’s achievements changed the practice of cardiology. He pioneered development of the direct current defibrillator, now the standard of care for cardiac resuscitation. He developed the cardioverter for correcting disordered heart rhythms, and introduced the drug lidocaine to control heartbeat disturbances.
Dr. Lown’s work also has contributed substantially to an understanding of the role of psychological factors in heart disease. He pursued the formidable problem of sudden cardiac death, the leading cause of mortality in the developed world, and established the basis for the modern coronary care unit. He has been a consummate clinical teacher and lecturer who has inspired hundreds of medical students as well as over two hundred research fellows in the Lown training program.
Dr. Lown passionately believes that physicians are natural advocates for the sick, the poor, and the afflicted. He has led countless struggles for justice, social equity, and peace, locally as well as globally. In the early 1960s he was a founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility, and in the eighties he co-founded, with Dr. Yevgeny Chazov from the Soviet Union, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War ( IPPNW). His peace activities have been recognized with a UNESCO Peace Prize, the Cardinal Medeiros Peace Award, the Gandhi Peace Prize, some 20 honorary degrees, and the Nobel Peace Prize, which he accepted in 1985 on behalf of IPPNW. He founded the Lown Cardiovascular Research Foundation in 1973, SatelLife in 1987, and ProCor in 1997.
Dr. Bernard Lown is Professor Emeritus at the Harvard School of Public Health and senior physician (ret.) at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. He is the founder of the Lown Cardiovascular Group and is the Chairman Emeritus of the Lown Cardiovascular Research Foundation.