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Featured Speakers

For a complete list of National Forum faculty biographies, please click here.

Keynote Speakers

Keynote One: Tuesday, December 11, 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM


Maureen Bisognano, President and CEO, Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), previously served as IHI’s Executive Vice President and COO for 15 years. She is a prominent authority on improving health care systems, whose expertise has been recognized by her elected membership to the Institute of Medicine and by her appointment to The Commonwealth Fund's Commission on a High Performance Health System, among other distinctions. Ms. Bisognano advises health care leaders around the world, is a frequent speaker at major health care conferences on quality improvement, and is a tireless advocate for change. She is also an Instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, a Research Associate in the Brigham and Women's Hospital Division of Social Medicine and Health Inequalities, and serves on the boards of the Commonwealth Fund, ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value, and Mayo Clinic Health System―Eau Claire. Prior to joining IHI, she served as CEO of the Massachusetts Respiratory Hospital and Senior Vice President of The Juran Institute.


Keynote Two: Tuesday, December 11, 3:15 PM - 4:15 PM


ADS.jpgAnna Deavere Smith is an actress, playwright, and a professor. Her work in the theater explores American character. She has won numerous awards, among them two Obies, two Tony nominations, and a MacArthur fellowship. She is University Professor at NYU, appointed at Tisch School of the Arts. You may recognize her as Nancy McNally, National Security Advisor on The West Wing, or as Gloria Akalitus on Showtime’s Nurse Jackie. Ms. Smith is said to have created a new form of theater in which she combines the journalistic technique of interviewing a diverse array of people with the art of interpreting their words for performance. The New York Times wrote that she is “the ultimate impressionist -- she does people’s souls.” Her most recent play, Let Me Down Easy, tells the human side of the health care story in the US. Ms. Smith has served as Artist-in-Residence at a number of organizations as varied as MTV Networks and Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. She is author of the books Letters to A Young Artist and Talk to Me, as well as numerous essays and articles. She serves on the board of the Museum of Modern Art and the Aspen Institute.  She is founding director of Anna Deavere Smith Works, a nonprofit that convenes artists from around the world who combine artistic excellence with works that address the world’s most pressing problems.


Keynote Three: Wednesday, December 12, 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Please note: Dr. Devi Shetty, who was formerly scheduled to give a keynote address in this time slot, has cancelled and will be replaced by Dan Heath.


ADS.jpgDan Heath is a Senior Fellow at Duke University's CASE center, which supports entrepreneurs who are fighting for social good. He is the co-author of Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard, which debuted at #1 on the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. The Heath brothers previously co-wrote the critically acclaimed book Made to Stick, which was named the Best Business Book of the Year, spent 24 months on the BusinessWeek bestseller list, and has been translated into 29 languages, the last of which was Slovak. Heath is a columnist for Fast Company magazine, and he has taught and consulted with organizations such as Microsoft, Philips, Vanguard, Macy’s, USAID, and the American Heart Association. Previously, Dan worked as a researcher and case writer for Harvard Business School, co-authoring 10 case studies on entrepreneurial ventures, and later served as a Consultant to the Policy Programs of the Aspen Institute. In 1997, Dan co-founded an innovative publishing company called Thinkwell, which continues to produce a radically reinvented line of college textbooks.



Keynote Four: Wednesday, December 12, 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM


Donweb.jpgDonald Berwick, MD, MPP, is the former President and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, an organization that he co-founded and led for over 20 years. In July 2010, President Obama appointed Dr. Berwick to the position of Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, a position he held until December 2011. A pediatrician by background, Dr. Berwick has served on the faculty of the Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health, and on the staffs of Boston's Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Brigham and Women's Hospital. He has also served as vice chair of the US Preventive Services Task Force, the first "Independent Member" of the American Hospital Association Board of Trustees, and chair of the National Advisory Council of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. He served two terms on the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM’s) governing Council, was a member of the IOM’s Global Health Board, and served on President Clinton's Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Healthcare Industry. Recognized as a leading authority on health care quality and improvement, Dr. Berwick has received numerous awards for his contributions. In 2005, he was appointed “Honorary Knight Commander of the British Empire” by the Queen of England in recognition of his work with the British National Health Service. Dr. Berwick is the author or co-author of over 150 scientific articles and four books.


Special Interest Keynote Speakers


Berry.jpgA1: The Wisconsin Story

Tuesday, December 11, 9:30 AM - 10:45 AM

Leonard Berry, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Marketing, Texas A&M University (Moderating a panel including):

-George Kerwin, President and CEO, Bellin Health

-Randy Linton, MD, President and CEO, Mayo Clinic Health System

-Dean Gruner, MD, President and CEO, ThedaCare

-Jeffrey Thompson, MD, CEO, Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center


Session description: 

Of 306 hospital referral regions in the US, four regions in Wisconsin rank in the top 14. In this session, a CEO panel representing four of Wisconsin’s highest-performing health systems discuss the underlying success drivers in their institutions. Professor Leonard Berry has conducted field research at each of the institutions and will lead the panel. Attendees can count on a spirited, probing, candid, and focused discussion of “The Wisconsin Story.”

After this presentation, participants will be able to:
• Test three to five new ideas for performance improvement
• Analyze the essentials of high-performance health care
• Compare the culture in their own organization to the cultural profiles of the
organizations featured


Smedley.jpgB1: Ensuring Equity in the Health Care Workforce

Tuesday, December 11, 11:15 AM - 12:30 PM
Brian Smedley, MD, Vice President and Director, Health Policy Institute of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies


 Session description:

 Several US racial and ethnic minority groups are vastly underrepresented in the health care workforce, a disparity which in part explains racial and ethnic health care access gaps. This session will focus on the rationale for expanding diversity in the health care workforce and the need for more effective strategies and leadership from health professions educators, health care system leaders, and others so that US health care systems are better prepared
to manage the nation’s growing diversity.
After this presentation, participants will be able to:
• Describe how diversity in the heath care workforce is beneficial for health care
systems and patients
• Explain how health care quality, safety and patient-centeredness can be improved
by greater workforce diversity
• Identify the institutional policies and strategies that are promising to increase the
diversity of the US health care workforce


Montori.jpgC1: Minimally Disruptive Medicine

Tuesday, December 11, 1:30 PM - 2:45 PM

Victor Montori, MD, Director, Mayo Clinic Healthcare Delivery Research Program and Professor of Medicine, Mayo Clinic

Session description:

 This session will discuss the nature of patient work and address the problems encountered when this work exceeds the patient’s capacity and leads to non-adherence. The delivery of care can improve the extent to which care fits the patient’s context, but improvements in quality of care can also have a negative impact on patients with multiple chronic conditions. The proposed solution --

minimally disruptive medicine -- represents the missing organizing principle behind patient-centered medical homes.
After this presentation, participants will be able to:
• Recognize that patient non-adherence can be induced by the organization and
the delivery of care
• Enumerate the components of patient work and how its relation to patient
capacity can worsen adherence and outcomes


D1: The Conversation Project

Wednesday, December 12, 9:30 AM - 10:45 AM

Ellen Goodman, Pulitzer Prize-winning Journalist and Founder, The Conversation Project

Session description:

If there is one condition that everyone in this wide and diverse world shares it is this: Our mortality. We all know that, and yet we have been immeasurably slow in recognizing that too many of our loved ones are not dying in the way they would choose. In August, The Conversation Project, co-founded by Pulitzer Prize winner Ellen Goodman, launched a national public campaign with a goal that is simple and transformative: to have every person's end-of-life wishes expressed and respected. The project encourages open and honest discussions at the kitchen table among friends and families -- before there is a crisis --a bout how they want to life at the end of life. It asks one question of everyone: Have you had the conversation?
After this presentation, participants will be able to:
• Describe the importance and background of The Conversation Project
• Apply new ways to engage patients and families in redesigning and delivering
optimal care at the end of life 


E1: The Role of Health Care in Reducing Health Disparities
Wednesday, December 12, 11:15 AM - 12:30 PM

David Satcher, MD, PhD, Director, The Satcher Health Leadership Institute and Center of Excellence on Health Disparities, Morehouse School of Medicine


Session description:

While quality of care may not be the most important determinant of health outcome in health disparities, it is perhaps the most studied to date with some indications of progress. What has not been well studied or examined is the relationship between quality of care and the social determinants of health and health disparities. Both quality of care and social determinants of health are greatly dependent upon health policy and other policies that impact health. Thus, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) can have a major impact on the quality of care by adapting incentives to that goal and rewarding quality rather than volume of care.
Likewise, the incentives in the ACA favoring primary care and preventive
services should impact quality of care and its impact on disparities in health. Most
important, the ACA should enhance the timely access to care, allowing the
best of care to be applied early and in a timely fashion. To the extent that quality of care depends on the relationship and communication between provider, patients, and community, the ACA should move us significantly forward.
After this presentation, participants will be able to:
• Describe the relationship between quality of care and the social determinants of
health disparities
• Identify how the affordable care act can have a major impact on quality of care