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It’s in Orbit! Liftoff PGH 2020 Initiative Launched at All Boards Retreat

It's been in the works for months, but now it's real: Liftoff PGH 2020 has fired off.

All three operating boards of the Jewish Healthcare Foundation gathered last week for the launch of an event that we hope will prepare the Pittsburgh region to rise to the top as a center of health innovation and discovery. A moonshot.

Both an event and an ongoing process, the defining Liftoff exploration is slated for September 15-16, 2020 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. The event's online presence is now live at LiftoffPGH.org, where everyone can sign up for regular updates and inquire about sponsorships. Advisory committees have been meeting since July to begin shaping speaker panels and interactive exploration spaces. A social media campaign will launch in September.

Liftoff seeks to attract healthcare practitioners, insurers, designers, consumers, entrepreneurs, academics, civic, political and thought leaders from across the region to imagine a future where we excel above all others in meeting consumer needs and preferences. The intent is to make Pittsburgh a leader among competitive regions in discovering and realizing new and updated avenues to deliver health by 2030.

Trustees and staff learned more about Liftoff 2020's innovative ideas.

The gathering will explore the outer limits of innovation around five key themes: workforce and education; entrepreneurship; health spaces; patient engagement and empowerment; payment and regulation.

"We aim to assemble the key players and global thought leaders for two days to explore the best-case scenarios for Pittsburgh as a global health hub in 10 years," said JHF President and CEO Karen Wolk Feinstein, PhD. "We envision nothing less than a regional renaissance creating a Pittsburgh that excels as an economic, academic, research, healthcare delivery and health assurance, reputational and entrepreneurial leader."

Ethan Brosowsky presents his findings to trustees.

Underscoring the need to prepare for the major changes underway was Ethan Brosowsky, senior director of the Advisory Board, which helps healthcare organizations to improve performance through the latest research and data. He was a guest speaker at the packed August 26 meeting of the boards of JHF, the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative, and Health Careers Futures.

A decade ago, Brosowsky noted, the 16-image CT scan represented the peak of high-tech health care. Today, CT scans can take 320 images or more, and innovation includes genetic screening to detect deadly diseases, digital monitoring by implantable chips, and eventually tattoos that change color to indicate acute changes in one's biochemistry.

"There is no shortage of clinical innovations to study, but the larger point is that the horizon is constantly shifting," he said. "Health care is making transformative, evolutionary leaps forward. It's smart of Pittsburgh to build the infrastructure now that will help you make the most of it."

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