Category Archives: Conferences
Timothy Landers, RN, CNP, PhD, is an assistant professor at The Ohio State University and a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Nurse Faculty Scholar.
The Great Challenges Program is an ongoing effort by the TEDMED community to provide innovative, interdisciplinary perspectives on the most complex and challenging issues in health care. A year-long dialogue facilitated through social media tools and panels of experts continued at the annual gathering of TEDMED 2013.
One of the themes of TEDMED 2013 was the creative and thoughtful use of big data and small data to improve health and health care.
Small data includes individual level information specific to an individual or circumstance. In small data, “n=ME.” A vast amount of individual level information is now routinely collected. However, a large volume of data is not required for small data to be useful—in the words of one TEDMED speaker, it’s not the volume of the data, but the complexity of existing data. Data must be available and accessible in order to be useful as well.
Big data refers to patterns of data and information available at the population level. The goal of big data is to use information and take a “macroscopic” view of health. It includes the ability to recognize patterns that are not obvious or readily apparent. Big data analysis permits us to go from pieces of data to collective wisdom, a theme of TEDMED 2013.
This blog post offers perspectives from seven Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholars who attended TEDMED 2013 last week.
Seeing things in new and different ways will advance nursing practice, research, and education. We need to think of creative strategies to raze perceived boundaries. One way for nurses to enter new frontiers is to engage in interprofessional dialogue with consumers, health care providers, researchers, entrepreneurs, technology experts, designers, and artists. We experienced this interchange at TEDMED 2013—an interprofessional conference for sharing and exploring solutions to health care’s most pressing challenges.
Collaboration is Key
Adejoke Ayoola: The opportunities to explore new advances in technology and interact with innovators remind me of an African Proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.” The outcome is more fulfilling with collaboration. By collaborating with stakeholders (e.g., community residents, community health workers, local agencies), research not only becomes more effective, it becomes more relevant to societal needs. Collaboration with my nursing colleagues promotes scholarly growth and may involve writing manuscripts or conducting smaller studies associated with a bigger study.
Brendan Saloner, PhD, is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Health & Society Scholar in residence at the University of Pennsylvania and a senior fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics. This is the first in a series of essays, reprinted from the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics’ eMagazine, in which scholars who attended the recent AcademyHealth National Health Policy Conference reflect on the experience.
Like Goldilocks wandering through the house of the Three Bears, policy-makers in search of a health care payment model have found it difficult to settle on an option that is "just right."
Fee-for-service—paying doctors separately for each service they provide—leads to too much unnecessary and duplicative care (too hot!). Capitation—paying doctors a fixed fee for caring for patients—leads doctors to skimp on care and avoid costly populations (too cold!). A "just right" payment model should give providers incentives to provide all the clinically necessary care to patients while keeping costs low.
Shared savings models—allowing providers to keep a portion of the money they save caring for patients—have been touted as one method for aligning the incentives of providers and payers. Most prominently, shared savings is a central element of the Affordable Care Act's Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs).
An ACO is a network of providers that have agreed to accept a bundled payment for treating patient populations, and in return stand to gain incentive payments for meeting performance targets (or to lose money for missing targets). In the "happily ever after" version of ACOs, groups of providers will finally have a business case for coordinating patient medical records, reducing costly visits to the emergency room, and improving patient compliance with chronic disease therapies without leading to excessive procedures or gaps in care. Healthy patients, healthy profits.
But will it work?
More than 200 leaders from state Action Coalitions gathered in Washington, D.C. recently for the 2013 Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action Summit on the Future of Nursing. Watch the video below to hear from some of them about the experience.
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation President Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, kicked off the Summit by discussing the Foundation’s commitment to transforming health care through nursing. View her conversation with RWJF Senior Communications Officer Linda Wright Moore, MS, in the right-hand sidebar of the blog.
Last week was the International Conference on Health in the African Diaspora (ICHAD), which convened experts from a variety of fields to discuss the health and social experience of African descendants in the Western hemisphere. Below, two scholars from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy at Meharry Medical College who attended the conference talk about the experience. Courtney Sinclair Thomas, BS, is a 2011 health policy fellow and doctoral student in the Department of Sociology at Vanderbilt University, and Erika Leslie, MSPH, is a 2012 health policy fellow and doctoral candidate at Vanderbilt University.
Human Capital Blog: Why did you decide to attend the International Conference on Health in the African Diaspora?
Courtney Sinclair Thomas: I decided to attend ICHAD because thus far, my research has been focused on the health of African Americans in the United States. However, I realize that the shared history of the Transatlantic slave trade unites members of the Diaspora in unique ways. I wanted to learn more about the experiences of Blacks from throughout the Diaspora so that I could gain insight into the phenomenon of "race," which has such a significant impact on our health and life chances.
HCB: Please explain the ways that being a descendant of slavery can affect individual, family and population health today.
Sinclair Thomas: Being a descendent of slavery has major impacts on health today. I am interested in social determinants of health, and the experience of slavery has left an entire race at greater risk for many health conditions. This is particularly due to increased chronic stresses, discrimination, and lower social status and access to opportunities.
Last week was the International Conference on Health in the African Diaspora (ICHAD), which convened experts from a variety of fields to discuss the health and social experience of African descendants in the Western hemisphere. Below, two scholars from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy at Meharry Medical College who attended the conference talk about the experience. Helena Dagadu, MPH, is a 2011 health policy fellow and doctoral student in the Department of Sociology at Vanderbilt University, and Tulani Washington-Plaskett, MS, is a Fall 2011 health policy scholar and second-year medical student at Meharry Medical College.
Human Capital Blog: Why did you decide to attend the International Conference on Health in the African Diaspora?
Helena Dagadu: When I met Dr. LaVeist almost two years ago, he shared his idea about ICHAD with me. As he described his vision for the conference, I knew I had to be a part of it. My research and policy interests fit directly with the spirit of ICHAD to both understand and address health disparities among people of African descent. I also attended because this was an opportunity to meet people from different disciplines and gain some insights from their respective perspectives.
An international group of scholars, policy-makers, health workers, health advocates, and journalists are convened in Baltimore, Maryland this week for the International Conference on Health in the African Diaspora (ICHAD), to discuss the health and social experience of African descendants in the Western hemisphere. The theme of ICHAD 2012 is “The Great Scattering: Solving the Puzzle of Slavery, Race, and Contemporary Health in the African Diaspora.”
This afternoon at 3:15 pm EST, @RWJF_HumanCap will be live-tweeting a presentation at ICHAD by Eleanor Fleming, PhD, DDS, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on “USA Social Determinants of Health and Health Differences between Native and Foreign-born Blacks in the United States.” Fleming is a former scholar at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Center for Health Policy at Meharry Medical College.
Click the “read more” link below to see videos from ICHAD co-sponsor Daniel L. Howard, PhD, executive director of the RWJF Center for Health Policy at Meharry Medical College, and ICHAD conference chair Thomas LaVeist, PhD, director of the Center for Health Disparities Solutions at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is once again pleased to be support the TEDMED conference (April 10-13), which brings together leaders from a wide array of medical and non-medical disciplines to explore the future of health and medicine. This year, we’re especially pleased to sponsor TEDMED’s Great Challenges Program. The Challenges range from childhood obesity to Alzheimer’s, from stress to superbugs, and are deeply rooted problems in health and medicine with multiple, interconnected causes and pathways to solutions.
At RWJF, our mission is to improve the health and health care of all Americans. Good health and health care are fundamental measures of our success as a nation. In our 40 years, we’ve learned several lessons that apply to our support of TEDMED’s Great Challenges Program. These include the importance of working with partners and building on the efforts of others; facilitating collaboration among unlikely allies; resisting the illusion of complete understanding; as well as the importance of being persistent.
For the past several years, when TEDMED has focused on innovation in health and medicine, RWJF’s Pioneer Portfolio supported the conference because it provided an opportunity to explore emerging trends and network. Now that the conference has pivoted to focus on Great Challenges in health and health care – issues that cut across the entire Foundation – support for TEDMED in 2012 has become a Foundation-wide endeavor.
This year, RWJF is partnering with TEDMED to help ensure all those other voices are heard. TEDMED has now identified a set of 50 Great Challenges that it is presenting to the TEDMED community to assist with narrowing the list to the most pressing 20. TEDMED selected knowledgeable individuals who will serve as “Advocates” for each of the proposed Challenges, and the Advocates will circulate among conference attendees – engaging their input around the nature and importance of their individual Challenge and lobbying attendees to include it among their top 20.
By Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president and CEO, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Every year, the American Public Health Association (APHA) annual meeting features some of the best and brightest minds in health and health care. Taking place in Washington, D.C. from October 29 to November 2, it is a cutting edge event that advances critical research, helps shape policy and practice, and stimulates thinking on some of the most pressing health issues of our time. APHA notes that it is the oldest and largest gathering of public health professionals and, in my experience it is easily one of the most influential. I am very proud that, this year, it will feature dozens of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) scholars, fellows, alumni, grantees, staff and others who have been touched by Foundation programs.
Perhaps most exciting is that Melvin D. Shipp, OD, MPH, DrPH, a former RWJF Health Policy Fellow (1989-1990), is beginning his term as president of this prestigious organization. Shipp is dean of The Ohio State University College of Optometry and past president of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry. He will hold the APHA leadership position for two years, and I know he will do great things during that time. At the meeting, Shipp will lead a session on the Health Policy Fellows program, explaining the experience and its impact on participants.
Among the many others from the RWJF “family” who will be featured at the annual meeting are:
This post is part of an ongoing series of Voices from the Field by scholars, fellows and alumni of RWJF Human Capital programs. The author, Gina S. Lovasi, Ph.D., M.P.H., is an alumnus of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholars program, an assistant professor in epidemiology at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and an investigator with the Built Environment and Health Project at Columbia.
A few weeks ago, I had both the great honor and the arguable misfortune of presenting my latest health disparities research to a gathering of the RWJF Health & Society Scholars at the National Institutes of Health. The honor part is obvious: As an alumna of the program, I was thrilled to spend time with fellow scholars, and to get their thoughts on my work. The misfortune part? That had to do with a bit of intimidating scheduling: I ended up on the program immediately following a giant in the field, Sir Michael Marmot.
In case you’re not familiar with him, Marmot is regarded as a true rock star by health disparities researchers. Perhaps his best known contribution was chairing the World Health Organization’s Commission on Social Determinants of Health from 2005 to 2008, but before and since, he’s reshaped the contours of the profession, and inspired researchers across the globe to pursue health disparities research.
For better or worse, I didn’t know I’d be following him until that morning, sparing me additional pre-presentation anxiety. And the actual event went just fine. His broad theme that day – and indeed, the theme that runs throughout his work and the work of the Health & Society Scholars—is that health disparities are not inevitable, that we can address them.