Weitzman Symposium, 2011

Weitzman Symposium, 2011

An alert flashed up on my screen this morning letting me know that the Weitzman Symposium is tomorrow.  It is the Sixth Annual Weitzman Symposium and I’m pretty excited because it is my first Weitzman Symposium and the first Weitzman Symposium that will be streamed online.

It is an impressive group of health care leaders from around the country that will be attending.  Coming in from Washington DC is Garth Graham, MD, MPH, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (@HHSGov).  Dr. Graham is a noted speaker on health disparities and I really look forward to his presentation.  I am especially looking forward to the discussion afterwards.  You see, this is where I hope the social media component comes in.  We will be streaming the symposium live on UStream.  In addition, we will be encouraging people to tweet about it using the #weitzman hashtag.  To bring it all together, we will use CoverItLive which will combine tweets with the hashtag with messages on CoverItLive.  Hopefully, we will get some good questions from online viewers.

The next session will include Melinda Abrams, MS, Vice President, The Commonwealth Fund (@commonwealthfnd) coming in from New York and Carl Morris, MD, MPH, Program Director, Group Health Family Medicine Residency Program (@grouphealth) coming in from Seattle.  They will be talking about building sustainable medical homes.  Since CHC received certification as a level 3 Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) and since the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the Federally Qualified Health Center Advanced Primary Care Practice (FQHC APCP) demonstration project which will show how the patient-centered medical home model can improve quality of care, this should be a very interesting sessions looking towards the future of health care.

This will be followed by Tim Ferris, MD, Medical Director, Mass General Physicians Organization (MGPO)(@MassGeneral), Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School (@harvardmed) and Eric Weil, MD, Medical Director, MGH Care Management Program, both coming down from Boston to talk about “Intensive Primary Care- When Usual Excellent Care is Not Enough”.  If you want to read a great article that will give you background for this discussion, check out Atul Gawande’s article in the January 24, 2001 issue of The New Yorker, “The Hot Spotters: Can we lower medical costs by giving the neediest patients better care?”.  For that matter, even if you can’t make time to hear Dr. Ferris and Dr. Weil, you should read this article if you haven’t already.

The final speaker coming up from New York is Jay Parkinson (@Jayparkinson), MD, MPH, Co-Founder of Hello Health (@hellohealth) and Future Well.  Hello Health is a mixture of secure social network and electronic medical record that enables doctors and patients to connect both in their office and online via email, IM, and video chat.  It seems like a perfect way to end off the first social media enabled Weitzman Symposium and I hope a lot of people will stick around to the end and participate in a lively discussion.

But, the symposium is still a day away.  Tomorrow, I will have a blog post up here which will include the CoverItLive stream and the UStream.  Until then, I need your help to spread the word about this wonderful opportunity to hear some great health care leaders from around the country as they come to the Weitzman Symposium in Middletown, CT.  Please, spread the word, and then, tomorrow, join in what should be a wonderful day.

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