By Heather Reifsnyder
For four years, the American Health Care Congress has provided a venue for dialogue about health care reform.
This year’s congress convened October 16 in Ontario, offering roughly 300 attendees the opportunity to learn from health policy experts.
“At the end of the congress, attendees felt eager and optimistic about solving our nation’s health care challenges,” says Dora Barilla, MPH, chair of the congress and an instructor in the School of Public Health. “They felt that the congress was a catalyst for meaningful and sustainable change.”
One of the congress attendees was Maya Ann Finn.
“I want to stay abreast of what’s going on,” she says. “Health care reform is critically important and desperately needed.”
The day’s lineup included numerous experts—including three keynote speakers—and a choice of concurrent workshops.
The day’s first keynote speaker was Kenneth Kizer, MD, MPH. He is a speaker and consultant who has repeatedly been selected as one of the 100 most powerful people in health care by Modern Healthcare magazine. He has also been featured in Time, Business Week, and Fortune.
During his presentation, Dr. Kizer spoke about envisioning an ideal health care system. He posited that in order to achieve health care transformation, we must have a clear vision of the desired result.
Keynote addresses were also delivered by Thomas Lee, MD, MSc, and John Clymer.
Dr. Lee is a professor at Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health. He is associate editor of The New England Journal of Medicine. He serves as network president for Partners Healthcare System and chief executive officer for Partners Community HealthCare.
Mr. Clymer is president of Partnership for Prevention, a nonprofit health policy research organization in Washington, D.C., that offers health policy analysis and recommendations. He was previously vice president of external affairs at the Albert B. Sabin Vaccine Institute.
The event concluded with an update on health-related legislation at the federal and state levels.
Loma Linda University School of Public Health presented the first American Health Care Congress in 2004.
“The congress enjoys an established track record of attracting some of the nation’s best minds in health care and health care policy,” says David Dyjack, DrPH, CIH, dean of the Loma Linda University School of Public Health. “At the same time, it provides a critical venue for the exchange of ideas and best practices, which in turn drives the transformation desperately needed in the delivery of health care.”
Numerous organizations help sponsor the congress. The event’s signature sponsor is the Institute for Healthcare Advancement (IHA). Other sponsors are First 5 of San Bernardino, the California Endowment, the City of Ontario, Inland Empire Health Plan, Latino Health Collaborative, Lewis Operating Companies, Loma Linda University Medical Center, National Coalition on Health Care, San Antonio Community Hospital, San Bernardino County Department of Public Health, and St. Joseph Health System.