Conversations About Healthcare Reform

Sponsored by Intermountain Healthcare, the Healthy Dialogues lecture series brings together national health policy experts and Utah leaders to discuss local solutions for the challenges facing America's medical system.

Healthy Dialogues — Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Lunch & Program: Noon to 1:30 p.m.
Marriott City Center Hotel
220 S. State Street, Salt Lake City, Utah

There is no cost to attend this event; limited seating is by invitation only. An RSVP is required by Thursday, August 21. If you have been invited to this event you can register online:

David Wennberg, MD, MPH, is CEO of the Northern New England Accountable Care Collaborative, which creates common financing and accountability models and provides a common infrastructure to support the delivery of value-based accountable care. Dr. Wennberg also serves as the director of the High Value Health Collaborative at the Dartmouth Institute. Previously, he co-founded Health Dialog Analytic Solutions, the analytic division of Health Dialog and served as Health Dialog’s chief science officer. Dr. Wennberg received a medical degree from McGill University and his master's degree in public health from the Harvard School of Public Health. His work has been published in many peer-reviewed medical journals and he is an internationally recognized authority on the root causes of unwarranted variation in medical care.

Past Healthy Dialogues Speakers

Past speakers have included Dr. Atul Gawande, Clayton Christensen, Dr. Donald Berwick, Dr. Elliott Fisher, and Shannon Brownlee.

Christine Cassel, MD

April 15, 2014

Review highlights of Dr. Cassel's presentation slideshow:

Watch this video to hear Dr. Cassel discuss healthcare quality:

Christine Cassel, MD, president and CEO of the National Quality Forum, is a leading expert in geriatric medicine, medical ethics, and quality of care. Dr. Cassel is one of 20 scientists chosen by President Obama to serve on the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, and she is the author or co-author of 14 books and more than 200 journal articles. She is an adjunct professor of medicine and senior fellow in the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.


Greg Bell

November 12, 2013

Review highlights of Mr. Bell's presentation slideshow:

Watch Mr. Bell's presentation in its entirety:

Greg Bell has been named to lead the UHA, which is private, nonprofit association representing Utah hospitals, after more than 23 years of public policy experience, having most recently served as Lieutenant Governor of the state of Utah. Previously, he served as a senator and in the leadership of the Utah State Senate. Bell has provided leadership on a number of healthcare policy issues. His roles included chair for the Executive Health Policy Group for Utah’s top healthcare policy leaders; chair of the Governor’s Tort Reform Medical Liability Workgroup; co-chair of the Utah Health Exchange Advisory Board; and chair of Utah’s Emergency Management Administration Council.


Dee Edington, PhD

June 4, 2013

Review highlights of Dr. Edington's presentation slideshow:

Dee Edington, PhD, is a professor in the Division of Kinesiology at the University of Michigan. He is the founder and recently retired director of the University of Michigan Health Management Research Center. He also is the founder and chairman of Edington Associates, which helps organizations build a thriving and sustainable workplace and workforce. Trained in mathematics, kinesiology, and biochemistry, Dr. Edington's research focuses on the precursors of disease and vitality and on the relationships between healthy lifestyles, vitality, and quality of life, as they benefit both individuals and organizations. He is specifically interested in how individual health management, worksite wellness activities, and programs within organizations impact healthcare cost containment, productivity, and human resource development. He is the author or co-author of more than 800 articles, presentations, and several books.


Shannon Brownlee

January 31, 2013

Shannon Brownlee is well-known for offering counter-intuitive solutions to the nation's healthcare problems, and her presentation at a recent Healthy Dialogues did not disappoint the Salt Lake audience comprised of local healthcare leaders. Overtreated was named the No. 1 economics book of 2007 by The New York Times. Brownlee is the acting director of the nonpartisan think tank New America Foundation Health Policy Program in Washington, D.C.; she is also an instructor at the Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice at Dartmouth Medical School. Brownlee is a former senior writer and editor at U.S. News & World Report, and her work has appeared in The New York Times magazine, The New Republic, Time, The Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times, among others. Brownlee was featured in the recent PBS documentary, Money & Medicine.


Roger Weisberg

August 28, 2012

Director and producer Roger Weisberg introduced Money & Medicine, an investigative documentary filmed at UCLA Medical Center and Intermountain Medical Center that illuminates the powerful forces driving soaring healthcare costs as well as dangers patients face from over-diagnosis and over-treatment. Mr. Weisberg is president of Public Policy Productions and has produced 31 documentaries on a variety of social issues that have aired in prime time on PBS and networks around the world. His films have won more than 100 awards, including Peabody, Emmy, and duPont-Columbia awards, and an Academy Award nomination in 2000. Money & Medicine aired nationally on PBS on September 25.

Watch the PBS documentary in its entirety online:


Atul Gawande, MD, MPH

June 21, 2012

Atul Gawande, MD, MPH, is a practicing surgeon, and an accomplished writer, teacher, and speaker who offers a unique perspective on the practice of medicine, the reform of healthcare, and the human struggle to do better — to improve performance. Dr. Gawande is the author of three bestselling books: Complications; and Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance; as well as The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right. Dr. Gawande is a surgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. He is an Associate Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School and Associate Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health, and Research Director for the BWH Center for Surgery and Public Health. Dr. Gawande is also a staff writer on medicine and science for The New Yorker magazine.


Clayton M. Christensen

March 23, 2012

Clayton M. Christensen is the Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration professor at Harvard Business School and the best-selling author of several books, including recently released Disrupting Class and The Innovator's Prescription. Prior to joining the Harvard faculty in 1992, Christensen served as chairman and president of CPS Technologies, a firm he co-founded with several MIT professors in 1984. He is the bestselling author of five books, including his seminal work The Innovator's Dilemma, which received the Global Business Book Award for the best business book of the year. Recently, Christensen has written on social issues such as education (Disrupting Class) and healthcare (The Innovator's Prescription, which won the 2010 James A. Hamilton Award by the College of Healthcare Executives). He holds a B.A. from Brigham Young University, and an M.Phil. from Oxford University, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. He received an MBA and his DBA from the Harvard Business School.


Philip Bredesen

November 10, 2011

Philip Bredesen, a Democrat, served as Tennessee's governor from 2003 until 2011. He is the author of Fresh Medicine: How to Fix Reform and Build a Sustainable Health Care System (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2010). Known for his bipartisan approach to problem-solving and careful fiscal management, Bredesen's political style proved successful and popular. Among senior elected officials, Gov. Bredesen has unusually deep experience in the field of healthcare. As a private-sector entrepreneur, he started a managed care business from his home in 1980 and grew it to an NYSE-listed company with 6,000 employees before the end of the decade. As governor, he reformed Tennessee's troubled Medicaid program - called TennCare - and developed several innovative approaches to assisting the uninsured.


David Merritt

June 6, 2011

David Merritt is executive vice president of the Center for Health Transformation and the Gingrich Group. The Center, headed by former Speaker Newt Gingrich, is a collaboration of leaders dedicated to transforming health and healthcare in America. Prior to joining the Center, he was with America's Health Insurance Plans. As an expert on national health reform and health information technology, Mr. Merritt advises former Speaker Gingrich and directs the Center's policy and communications efforts. Previously, he was a health policy adviser to the presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain.


Former U.S. Senator Bob Bennett

March 17, 2011

Bob Bennett is a former United States senator from Utah. While in office from January 1993 to January 2011, he held chairmanships and senior positions on a number of key Senate committees, including the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, Appropriations Committee, Rules and administration Committee, Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Joint Economic Committee. Sen. Bennett was at the forefront of healthcare reform. He co-sponsored the Healthy Americans Act, the first major bipartisan healthcare legislation in more than a decade.

Watch Mr. Bennett's presentation in its entirety:


Vishal Wanchoo

November 17, 2010

Vishal Wanchoo is president and CEO of GE Healthcare Information Technology, a $1.4 billion segment of GE Healthcare. Mr. Wanchoo spoke before Utah community and healthcare leaders, and discussed national and global developments in healthcare and information technology in conjunction with current reform efforts. He joined GE in 1997 as the vice president and general manager of the Imaging and Information Systems organization. In 2005, Mr. Wanchoo was promoted to his current position and became a corporate officer. Intermountain launched a collaborative venture with GE Healthcare in 2006 to jointly create the next generation of medical information systems for hospitals.

Watch Mr. Wanchoo's presentation in its entirety:

Review highlights of Dr. Wanchoo's presentation slideshow:


Richard de Filippi

May 24, 2010

Richard de Filippi is chairman of the American Hospital Association. In addition to his service at the AHA, Mr. de Filippi is a trustee and former chairman of the board of the Cambridge Health Alliance, a major safety-net healthcare system and one of the largest in Massachusetts. He is also managing partner of the Ariano Partnership, a consulting group working largely with emerging technology-based companies.

Highlights of Mr. de Filippi's presentation:

Hear Mr. de Filippi's presentation in its entirety:

NOTE: The file is large and could take several minutes to download.


Michael O. Leavitt

June 25, 2009

Former Secretary Michael O. Leavitt was elected three times as governor of Utah (1993-2003). In 2003, he was appointed a member of President George W. Bush's cabinet, serving as the 10th head of the Environmental Protection Agency (2003-2005) and the 20th secretary of Health and Human Services (2005-2009). As governor, Leavitt was elected chairman of the National Governors Association, and the Republican Governors and the Western Governors associations. During his eleven years as governor, independent public policy analysts named Utah six times as America's best-managed state.

Hear former Sec. Leavitt's presentation in its entirety:

NOTE: The file is large (30.2 MB) and could take several minutes to download.


Donald M. Berwick, MD, MPP

February 4, 2009

Dr. Berwick is president and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to innovative change in healthcare worldwide. He continues to serve as a clinical professor of pediatrics and Health Care Policy in the Department of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, and he is professor of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health. In addition, Dr. Berwick is adjunct staff in the Department of Medicine at Children's Hospital Boston, and a consultant in pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Hear Dr. Berwick's presentation in its entirety by downloading this mp3 file:

NOTE: The file is large (41.5 MB) and could take several minutes to download.

Review highlights of Dr. Berwick's presentation slideshow:


Newt Gingrich

October 29, 2008

Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, discussed national health reform efforts and praised Intermountain during his keynote presentation to Utah leaders, calling Intermountain one of the country's "centers of brilliance."

Gingrich is founder of the nonpartisan Center for Health Transformation, a high-impact collaboration of private and public sector leaders committed to creating a 21st-century health system. During his visit to Salt Lake City, Gingrich detailed his plan for healthcare reform, some of which was modeled on Intermountain's successes in implementing evidence-based clinical protocols and the development of electronic medical records.

Highlights of Gingrich's presentation:

Hear his presentation in its entirety by downloading this mp3 file:

NOTE: The file is large (16.6 MB) and could take several minutes to download.


Bradley A. Perkins, MD, MBA

April 29, 2008

Dr. Perkins is the chief strategy and innovation officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He is considered "a catalyst for CDC efforts to influence health system transformation in ways that emphasize health protection and health equity through policy interventions and multi-sector and public engagement."


Ken Kizer, MD, MPH

January 24, 2008

Dr. Kizer led a dramatic transformation of the Veterans Administration hospital system—one of the world's largest health organizations with an annual budget of more than $20 billion, approximately 200,000 employees, and more than 1,300 facilities. As Under Secretary for Health in the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs, he used information technology and best practice guidelines to significantly cut costs while improving medical quality and outcomes.


Mark Chassin, MD, MPP, MPH

October 24, 2007

Dr. Chassin is president of The Joint Commission (as of January 1, 2008). During his presentation he said America already spends enough money on healthcare to provide effective care for all, including those who are currently uninsured. What our country needs is a "quality-driven health strategy" that addresses issues of medical overuse (doing more than is medically necessary/appropriate), under-use (the failure to provide a service when it would have helped), and misuse (medical mistakes).


Elliott Fisher, MD, MPH

July 19, 2007

Dr. Elliott Fisher is professor of Medicine and Community and Family Medicine at Dartmouth Medical School. He has served as director of the Institute for Health Care Research and Reform in Dartmouth's Center for the Evaluative Clinical Sciences. Dr. Fisher has been a leader in the university's Atlas of Health Care research project. He also serves as co-chair of the National Quality Forum committee, developing a framework for measuring and improving healthcare efficiency.

Citing a study of Medicare patients that focused on effectiveness of care, Dr. Fisher noted that the average expenditure per patient at LDS Hospital was less than half the expenditures at leading hospitals in California, New York, and Baltimore—with equal or superior quality.​​​

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