This year (2019), I will be celebrating nearly 30 years of work as a faculty member at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. During this period, I have been an active member of the Pharmacy and Therapeutics committee and have chaired one of its most important subcommittees, the one concerned with medication, safety, and quality.
Improving the quality and safety of care in the inpatient and ambulatory settings is, indeed, a global quest. As part of this journey, I had the privilege of traveling to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for the 35th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Quality in Health Care, known as ISQua.
The American Hospital Association (AHA), which is arguably America’s most important voice for hospitals, periodically holds an executive forum in major cities across the country. This gives the leadership of the association an opportunity to meet local leaders and to continue to hone the message as to the future of hospitals in a quickly evolving delivery system.
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.”
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