February 07, 2012 11:02 ET

Former CMS Administrator Donald Berwick, MD, Among Experts to Present at VHA's Fifth Annual Clinical Conference

VHA Members, Leaders Will Hear From Top Experts, Explore Key Improvement Drivers Over Three-Day Session

IRVING, TX--(Marketwire - Feb 7, 2012) - More than 300 hospital and health care leaders will assemble in Miami, Fla., Feb. 15-17, to attend the fifth annual clinical conference hosted by VHA Inc., the national health care network. Donald Berwick, MD, former administrator, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, will headline the event and discuss his vision for improving the quality of U.S. health care. In addition to Dr. Berwick, attendees will hear from Peter J. Pronovost, PhD, professor, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; best-selling author Steven Berlin Johnson; and Thomas Goetz, Executive Editor, Wired magazine, as well as other health care industry and government leaders.

Themed "Ignite Your Performance," this year's conference will focus on challenges imposed by health care reform and impending changes to health care delivery models. Says John Young, VHA senior vice president, Knowledge and Data Services, attendees will be exposed to the latest industry thinking and hear how to accelerate positive change in their health care organizations.

"2012 is a critical year for health care," Young explains. "Our goal is to arm our members with knowledge, insight and a sense of urgency about preparing for health care reform-inspired changes, starting with a focus on improving performance in quality, safety and the patient experience. Through the conference, attendees will learn from industry experts how they can effectively manage patient care delivery across the episode-of-care and into a future focus on population health management, especially as it impacts health care organizations and patients."

As a national health care alliance, VHA is uniquely equipped to bring together experts from across the health care industry, says Colleen Risk, VHA executive vice president, Member Networks and Human Resources. "We are well known for our networking capabilities," she explains. "Whether it is bringing together members or outside industry experts, or both, we consider it a core competency to assemble the best and the brightest thinkers to analyze and address industry problems for the benefit our member hospitals and health care systems."

About the speakers

One of America's leading advocates for high-quality health care, Dr. Berwick will address how to resolve the myriad performance improvement mandates confronting today's hospital and health care leaders. A professor at the Harvard Medical School and an Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire, Berwick champions a safe, efficient, integrated and cost-effective health care delivery system and inspires health care professionals to enact policies and processes to achieve that ideal. Dr. Berwick is also the founding CEO of the Institute of Healthcare Improvement, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care world-wide. He is the author of "Curing Health Care," and "New Rules: Regulation, Markets and the Quality of American Health Care."

Peter J. Pronovost, MD, is an intensive care specialist physician at Johns Hopkins Hospital and a professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The author of "Safe Patient, Smart Hospitals: How One Doctor's Checklist Can Help Us Change Heath Care from the Inside Out," he will explain how using his practical and intensive checklist protocol has reduced medical errors and hospital acquired infections, improved patient safety, avoided potential medical errors and saved lives.

Thomas Goetz is executive editor of Wired magazine and holds a master's degree in public health from The University of California at Berkeley. In his recent book, "The Decision Tree: Taking Control of your Health in the New Era of Personalized Medicine," Goetz explores the future world of custom-tailored medicines and medical care whose advances will enable us to stay healthier and live longer.

Best-selling author Steven Berlin Johnson has written extensively on the intersection of science, technology and the media. He also contributes to Wired magazine and is a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University's Department of Journalism. Johnson's work describes how societies and institutions can encourage and support ground-breaking thinking. His latest book, "Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation," details the genesis of innovation. Hospital leaders and health care professionals can apply Johnson's provocative principles to help improve health care nationwide.

Attendees to participate in live "Focus on Reform" broadcast

Attendees also will have the opportunity to participate as part of the audience for a live broadcast of VHA's nationally-aired Focus on Reform series hosted by Michael Regier, VHA senior vice president and general counsel. The program will deliver a progress report on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and feature a distinguished group of panelists, including Helen Darling, president, National Business Group on Health; Meredith Rosenthal, PhD., professor, Health Economics and Policy, Harvard School of Public Health; and, Joe V. Selby, executive director, Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute.

About VHA
Based in Irving, TX, VHA Inc. is a national network of not-for-profit health care organizations that work together to drive maximum savings in the supply chain arena, set new levels of clinical performance, and identify and implement best practices to improve operational efficiency and clinical outcomes. Since 1977, VHA has leveraged its expertise in analytics, contracting, consulting and networks to help members achieve their operational, clinical and financial objectives. In 2010, VHA delivered record savings and value of $1.7 billion to members. VHA serves more than 1,350 hospitals and more than 30,000 non-acute care providers nationwide, coordinating delivery of its programs and services through its 15 regional offices. VHA has been ranked as one of the best places to work in healthcare by Modern Healthcare since the publication introduced this list in 2008.

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