For the past few months I have been working diligently on a project that addresses healthcare reform. I most recently wrote about it on my blog in mid-October, "I really like what I do" and before that in September, "Work, work, work". My latest project occurred today and was broadcast today from Washington, D.C. to 12 other cities and thousands of people via webcast. The event was divided into two segments - a national broadcast and a local panel discussion.
The 45-minute national broadcast was fed via satellite and webcast to several thousand people worldwide to listen to policy experts address the impact and implications of president-elect Obama's healthcare reform plans. Following the national broadcast, each host hospital held a 1 hour "town hall" forum with a panel of local experts to address the challenges their communities face and the work that needs to happen to provide greater access, affordability and quality.
Boston's event was held at Children's Hospital Boston and despite some lingering frustrations with technical glitches in some cities, I'm both pleased with the event and relieved to talk about it in the past tense. This was the first real project I worked on from cradle-to-grave and it was far more work than anyone on my team (including myself) expected. The reward was seeing the program in action and hopefully dividends will be paid in the form of fostering new and stronger relationships with businesses, clients, and communities where this program was held. As I've mentioned in my log about my Medical Research Project, I am passionate about healthcare and believe that providing affordable quality care to everyone is a fundamental human right that is both worthwhile and attainable.
As was mentioned at today's program and has been well documented previously, the U.S. now spends more than $1 Trillion annually in healthcare so the problem is not funding a mandate that seeks to provide universal or near universal care. The challenge is identifying how to redistribute the money already in the system to be more effective and curtail future spending increases to make the system sustainable. The program today was only a first step in a journey that will require a million more no doubt but fostering serious dialog and engaging stake-holders is a good start, and I was proud to be a part of the program.