Reflecting on when we first decided to plan a special post-election edition of the Population Health Colloquium with a focus on Population Health Strategy Under the New Administration, I could not have predicted just how “new” our future administration might be. As the election results unfolded, it dawned on me that we had this incredible opportunity to delve into the complex issues affecting health policy at a very critical time. Hundreds gathered together in Washington, DC on Dec. 1&2 to sort out the myriad post-election policy issues.
For me, the highlights included a heartfelt plea from Andy Slavitt, the acting CMS administrator, to refocus our efforts on the needs of the patient, putting aside our partisan views. His amazing speech got a standing ovation!
Another highlight was the special dinner featuring two transformative leaders — Dr. Stephen Klasko from Jefferson and Donato Tramuto from Healthways. These two visionaries kept the audience transfixed with their personal stories about overcoming adversity with a laser-like focus on the future. Each described his new book and they were literally surrounded at the end of the evening by folks who wanted to hear more and to get an autograph too!
The concluding plenaries and panelists offered a rich array of views from both sides of the aisle. The standout on Friday was Anne Phelps, the healthcare regulatory expert from Deloitte’s DC office. She shared her personal experience as a leader during the transition under George W Bush in 2000, and spoke of the magnitude of the responsibility the new team is about to undertake. Regardless of the desire for change, she urged the attendees to take a deep breath … changes in Washington are slow paced no matter who is in power. The final panel Wonder Woman was Dr. Leana Wen — the 33-year- old Commissioner of Health for Baltimore. She practices public health medicine and views the 600,000 inhabitants of her city as her own patients. Her passion was infectious and a great way to end our meeting on a high note.
Please join me December 14th at 3:00 pm Eastern on PopHealth Week, where we’ll take a deeper dive into population health and policy challenges for the future. And don’t forgot to register for the 17th Population Health Colloquium, March 27-29, 2017 in Philadelphia.