At Snowbird Health Summit, JHF Advances Work of Patient Safety

The 50 participants at the Snowbird Health Summit. (Photo courtesy: Snowbird Summit)

The third annual Snowbird Health Summit, with a sponsorship this year by the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, brought together 50 prominent thought leaders in health care to speak freely about the future of health. Held at the Snowbird ski resort in Utah, the Feb. 15-18 event was abuzz with the promises of technology: Verily, the life sciences subsidiary of Alphabet, Google's parent company, was the main sponsor. But it was also grounded in the human fundamentals of health care, with sessions on "Caring for Caregivers," "Delivering Health Care in Rural America," and "Integrating Mental & Physical Health."

JHF President and CEO Karen Wolk Feinstein led a session on patient safety, "20 Years Post 'To Err is Human': How Will We Make Progress?" It built on the work of JHF's all-boards retreat this past December, and captured in the recent JHF report "Bystander Boards: Health Care's Achilles' Heel." She also led a session the next morning, "If Not Snowbird, Who? A Commitment to Action."
JHF President and CEO Karen Wolk Feinstein at the Snowbird Health Summit in Utah. (Photo courtesy: Snowbird Summit)

Dr. Feinstein noted that "there was much enthusiasm for improving board governance," and patient safety overall.

Six participants were designated by Dr. Feinstein to offer their own perspectives: Carolyn Clancy, MD, deputy undersecretary for Discovery, Education and Affiliate Networks, Veterans Health Administration; Joanne Conroy, MD, CEO and president of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center; David Cutler, PhD, Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics at Harvard; Michael Good, MD, CEO of University of Utah Health, dean of the University of Utah School of Medicine, and an anesthesiologist; Robert Kaplan, PhD, Marvin Bower Professor of Leadership Development, Emeritus at the Harvard Business School; and Jonathan Perlin, MD, president of Clinical Services and CMO of Hospital Corporation of America.

In the next morning's follow-up session, she identified six areas for future action: Safe Health, Online Health, Zip Code Health (building safety nets from the bottom up, outreach at neighborhood level), Special Populations Health (serving seniors, caregivers, women, people living with disabilities), Integrated Health, and Value Health (lowering costs and improving outcomes).

The Snowbird Health Summit was founded in 2016 by Vivian S. Lee, MD, PhD, MBA,when she was at the University of Utah; she joined Verily last year as president of Health Platforms. The other co-sponsors were the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Health Incentives & Behavioral Economics, the John A. Hartford Foundation, and University of Utah Health. 

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