Friday, March 7, 2008

400 Thinkers: The Mayo Clinic Symposium on Health Care Reform

Next week, 400 of the leading thinkers in our ongoing health care debate will converge on Lansdowne, VA, to participate in the Mayo Clinic Health Policy Center's Second National Symposium on Health Care Reform. Speakers and panelists at the event will include Former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw, former CNN Anchor Aaron Brown, Ceci Connolly of The Washington Post, Mayo Clinic President and CEO Denis Cortese, M.D., The Commonwealth Fund's Karen Davis, M.D., Joanne Silberner of NPR, and many, many more.

The symposium will run March 10-11 and will include a varied and interesting schedule. Once the welcome and overview portion of the proceedings is finished, they will be diving in with both feet as Brokaw leads discussions about how we, as a nation, can create the needed environment to enact change.

Brokaw will then lead a session examining the Mayo Clinic Health Policy Center's reform principles and approach. Following this session, Silberner, NPR's national health correspondent, will moderate a "real world reality check" of those principles. In my opinion, Silberner's session will be a vital one, as public perception and acceptance of these reform principles is a vastly important metric when looking at their viability.

More panels include one examining and comparing the various reform plans touted by our presidential hopefuls, and one on the creation of action plans for viable reform. All in all, it looks like quite an information-packed two days.

I was quite pleased to see that Lee Aase, the new social media guy over at the Mayo Clinic, has been doing a wonderful job of making sure that this event hits the Internet in a big way. The mere fact that his position exists at the Mayo Clinic speaks well of their awareness of current technology and its impact on the debate.

Aase's Health Policy Symposium Blog is only the first step:

We’re using this blog and other web tools to extend the discussion to everyone who wants to participate. All of the symposium’s general sessions will be made available live via streaming webcast, and also will be archived for later viewing and listening. I will be live-blogging the symposium here, and we will have an open comment thread available during each discussion for anyone to share ideas and opinions.

If you want to engage in the discussion here on this blog, that’s great. If you’d prefer to write on your own blog and link to the relevant posts here, that’s even better. We accept and encourage trackbacks. To help bring the conversation together, please also tag your posts MayoHealthPolicy08, as this one is.
I will certainly be following up on this, despite my inability to make it to the actual event. Watch for follow up commentary early next week!

SOURCE: Mayo Clinic website 03/04/08
SOURCE: "Health Policy Symposium Blog"
photo courtesy of idogcow, used under this Creative Commons license


  1. Thanks for highlight this event, George. I hope many of your readers will check out the streaming (and archived) video of the sessions, and will chime in on the symposium blog.

  2. I would be remiss if I did not. This is obviously an event that is of great interest to all who are following the push for health care reform.


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