Global Health Leadership Forum refocuses agenda on what health care executives really want to know



Organizers of the Global Health Leadership Forum (GHLF)—the School of Public Health’s executive program focusing on globally-sourced solutions in health policy and management—polled Forum participants to gain deeper insight into what they really want out of the program. Using surveys and discussion, GHLF posed questions to attending groups of global leaders in Singapore, London, and California: What are their most pressing challenges and what do they want to learn in 2015 that would be most helpful?

For helpful topics, the top answer was “Big Data.” Many leaders admitted they didn’t know what it really meant, but said they want to learn about its promise and what they as leaders should be doing about it. They also want to know about proven prevention and health promotion interventions in order to justify return on investment. Public-private partnerships (PPPs) came up frequently in the surveys as a topic for discussion. Participants from countries that have such arrangements want to know how to assess whether the PPPs make sense and whether there are good reasons for the controversies that exist in some countries. For example, despite evidence to the contrary, most Spaniards believe that any private participation in health care is a bad thing. Other countries, lacking in capital and other resources, are grasping at PPPs as a possible solution, at least short term. Is a “win-win” design possible and how can PPPs be structured to protect the public interest?

GHLF healthcare executives

Health care executives network at the Global Health Leadership Forum

Some other issues were raised: What is this term, “triple aim,” that is being bandied about globally and what does successful balance among the three aims look like? Is anyone really succeeding in “universal coverage” and how are they financing this success? What should health leaders be doing about Ebola and preparing for pandemics?

At the London program in 2014, GHLF covered “engaging the clinical work force,” which prompted participants to ask for a session on how to engage patients. “Patient-centered care” is one of those often heard, potentially hollow expressions. Leaders now feel it may be time to understand and act on its implications.

These 2015 topic priorities were accompanied by others that have been repeated for the past five years—requests to deepen leaders’ knowledge of best successes and tools in chronic care management and integration of care. A related topic, “care methods for the elderly,” is now being added to these queries.

Finally, the surveys found that technology is more frequently on the minds of global health leaders. They are aware of the rapidity of change and breadth of choices and want help in making cost-effective choices. Health IT systems remain paramount, especially how these systems work among clinicians and between clinicians and patients.

Using the results of these surveys, the GHLF team included priority issues in the 2015 agenda, and invited the top experts in these areas to interact with the attending leaders. Some highlights include Harvey V. Fineberg, president of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and previous president of the Institute of Medicine, who will speak on quality challenges such as disease prevention, health promotion, and the promise of Big Data; and Sir Richard Feachem, director of The Global Health Group, who will dicuss Ebola and the age of pandemics. The program includes a field trip to Kaiser Permanente for participants to explore the health organization’s innovations, incentives, and lauded health information system.

The upcoming session will take place from April 18 to 22 in Berkeley. For more information, visit the GHLF website.

1 Comment

  1. Bret Green, Ph.D., MPH on

    Workplace health promotion programs are commonplace now, but the deeper issue is depth of those programs (doing more than offering YMCA passes). The use of HRAs, training programs, culture change, and case management for highest risk have proven results. Companies such as PG&E had a long standing wellness program that produced an ROI of 3.77:1 over a two year period. As the workforce ages on-site programs need to be highlighted.

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