Despite having attended or participated in nearly 30 commencements in my role as a father and a Dean, I’ve never received an honorary degree until this year. I was thrilled to give the commencement address at Salus University in Philadelphia, PA, and receive an honorary degree for the first time.
What follows is an abbreviated version of my celebratory comments, with a special emphasis on the role of public accountability on the quality and safety of the care that we deliver.
Millennials now make up more than half of the white-collar workforce in our country. I have recently written elsewhere about their influence, and their potential to make a tremendous contribution in the near future.
As my physician wife (of the past 37 years) is fond of saying, “We are both rounding third base, heading to home” with regard to our long and fruitful careers as physician leaders. Therefore, when I am invited back to give a second plenary speech to any particular organization, it is an especially important opportunity.
KLAS holds an annual event that brings together vendors and customers on neutral territory to improve the quality of offerings in the healthcare marketplace. Admittedly, this is an unusual methodology, and I was asked to set the intellectual table for this important event that was focused on population health.

Of course, real peace is priceless. Seeking true peace is at the center of our Judeo-Christian heritage. Alas, I am not speaking about this kind of peace, but rather I am referring to the hard work of a team of persons at Jefferson University Hospital, or the Pharmacoeconomics and Cost Effectiveness (PEACE) Committee.

The landscape of population health is evolving rapidly, which supports the ageless contention that change is the only constant.

As a parent and a faculty member at Thomas Jefferson University for the past 26 years (including 8 as Dean of our College of Population Health), I have been to more than my share of commencement exercises. Fortunately, I really like going to commencement. As a result, I was honored to be invited to address the 2016 graduating class of physician assistants from Philadelphia University, especially now that our 2 great centers of learning will be merging over the next 3 years.
In ongoing work associated with the Jefferson College of Population Health (JCPH), I am engaged with a score of public and private sector organizations that are seeking to further define our field and to shape its future direction. I could not help but notice that in the past few weeks alone, in terms of consolidation, we have been at the “eye of the storm.” Allow me to share some specific examples of market consolidation, and then to offer some prognostication regarding the future.
For more than 2 years, I have had the privilege of participating in a very important national task force that is sponsored by the National Quality Forum (NQF) in Washington, DC. The task force is charged with giving input on a critical national priority, namely, improving population health by working with communities.
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