02 Oct The People of “People Power Health”
Post written by Eric Anderson
Transform kicked off with techno music loud enough to drown out the construction taking place at the far wing of the Convention Center (a reminder that we are witnessing the literal groundbreaking of Destination Medical Center), a surprise appearance from the Dahlia Lama who was not attending Transform but did publish The Dalai Lama's Book of Transformation, and John Hockenberry ushering attendees into Session 1: People Power Health.
So, who are the people in People Power Health? The phrasing suggests a shift of power, possibly from the institution to the citizens. But citizens make up the institution of health care. Are we being asked to shift the power to patients? Healthcare workers are patients throughout their lives. Since this assignment is for a short daily recap, lets quickly look at two presenters with contrasting ideologies who are influencing how the institution functions.
Marvin D. Seppala, MD, the Chief Medical Officer at Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, shared his personal struggles with addiction to frame his belief that twelve step programs with an emphasis on spiritual recovery, such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, are essential for addiction recovery and are implemented at Hazelden, a model for addiction treatment.
Bon Ku, M.D., Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and the Associate Dean for Co-Curricular Programs at Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, teaches medical students to solve healthcare challenges by using design thinking methodology. Ku’s students are not learning to address a patient’s spiritual center; they are ideating, prototyping products they may encounter in their future practices, and learning how to learn from failure.
How can we shift power from the institution when, in one building, healthcare workers are encouraging a patient to give themselves over to a higher power, while in another building future doctors are designing a patient’s gown? Is this the institution demonized for rising obesity rates and unaffordable care? Or are these people attempting to shift power from an inherited, outdated system?
Day two promises Power, Gifts of Grace, and a complimentary continental breakfast.