I have the privilege of being on the Board of Directors of 2 publicly held companies. As such, I’m an avid reader of several magazines and journals devoted to the work of governance in the for-profit sector. One such magazine is NACD Directorship, which is published by the National Association of Corporate Directors.
Different visitors to Bryce Canyon National Park, in southern Utah, have described it as “poetry in stone.” I thought that was a very apt description after my recent vacation hiking throughout Bryce Canyon. Given the crazy pace that so many of us, in our industry, face on a daily basis, an immersion in nature is just the thing for a quick recharge of the batteries. I was unprepared to fully appreciate the unique geologic structure of Bryce Canyon, and will use this as a metaphor to describe changes in nature versus changes in our industry.
I would like to share with you my opening comments from earlier this spring as we debuted the 2018 Population Health Colloquium. What follows is an edited version of my comments.
My work at Jefferson University has taken me nearly all over the world, including many cities in Western Europe, Australia, and Japan, but never before to the amazing and alluring nation of India.
I’ve read more than my share of official reports decrying the current state of our ailing healthcare system. Indeed, it’s tantamount to an occupational hazard. Rarely have I read such a scathing, even damning, public report from an irrefutable source such as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. I therefore wish to discuss that consensus study report, titled “Making Medicines Affordable: A National Imperative.”
As far as we know, Hippocrates was the first to formally recognize nutrition as an absolute therapeutic necessity. He is credited with memorable, and still remarkably relevant, quotes such as, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food,” and “Leave your drugs in the chemist’s pot if you can heal the patient with food.”
I have the privilege of serving on the Board of Directors of Humana. One of our core corporate strategies is known as the Bold Goal. In specific markets across the country, Humana will improve the health of the communities it serves in a measurable way: 20% by the year 2020.
I recently came across a very important report that essentially says we are “still at it” with regard to measuring and improving the quality and safety of medical care, especially when it comes to medications.
Like so many other adults older than 60, I have had gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) for years, and I am taking a generic medication for the long-term. Refilling this medication quarterly, even at our university’s hospital-based pharmacy, is inconvenient, and I have to phone in the refill and personally appear to pick it up. There is no delivery option.
Mea culpa—I just didn’t get it! I had read multiple front-page articles in the Philadelphia Inquirer over months, but it just did not get past my “bad news” filter.
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