Around the Institute

Healthcare in the Modern Era

June 27, 2014  • Institute Contributor

The following posts are part of a series produced by The Huffington Post and the Aspen Institute, in conjunction with Spotlight: Health, a forum exploring the key issues of our time as they relate to medicine, population health and global health, as well as the relationship between health and other disciplines. Spotlight: Health featured more than 350 speakers during the opening session of the Aspen Ideas Festival. To read posts from some of those speakers and supporters, see below.

Krista Donaldson
CEO, D-Rev
We Need to Create an Enabling Environment for Health Innovation

No matter where you live, or your income level, healthcare is ripe for change. The state of health in 2024 will be radically better, but only if we create an enabling environment for implementation and adoption health innovations. As many of us who work in medical device design know, it is an exciting time in health technology development, yet there are multiple barriers to speedy market entry and bringing promising new treatments to patients. Healthcare needs to be patient-centric and accessible; new technology — software and hardware — will make that happen. Read more

Paula Johnson
Executive Director, Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Chief, Division of Women’s Health, Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Consumer Beware in Biomedial Research and Women’s Health

U.S. Health care is undergoing a transformation with a magnitude that may only be realized with the advantage of history. Our health care investment has skyrocketed at the same time our system is rapidly evolving to extend care and to meet the shifting needs of our population. Lost amidst this flurry is a pervasive health care policy issue that significantly affects all of our health outcomes as well as our health care dollar: gender inequity in medical research. Read more

Iva Fattorini
Chair of the Global Arts and Medicine Institute at Cleveland Clinic
Arts and Medicine. Do It.

As a doctor who devoted professional life to integration of arts with medicine, I am often being asked, “Why do we need arts in medicine?” and, “Why would we spend money on arts instead of more important things?” Read more. 

Catalina Escobar
Founder and President, Juan Felipe Gomez Escobar Foundation
But What’s the Cost of Not Addressing Poverty?

If there is a persistent challenge for those who work “hands on” in the social sector, it is to permanently break the cycles of poverty. For 13 years, I have been working in Cartagena, Colombia, a city with possibly the greatest social despair in the country, and with devastating poverty statistics. Initially my work was inspired by the death of my son, Juan Felipe, at 16 months of age. His passing launched an organization in his name, Juan Felipe Gomez Escobar Foundation (JuanFe Foundation). With time, this inspiration has evolved into a passion to make a true social transformation. Read more.

Madeleine Ballard
Rhodes Scholar; Doctoral candidate in Social Intervention at Ox



Alice Johnson
Registered nurse, health equity advocate



Raj Panjabi
CEO of Last Mile Health; Associate Physician in the Division of Global Health Equity, Brigham & Women’s Hospital / Harvard Medical School


How Do You Deliver Health Care Where There Are No Roads? Make Community Health Workers Better

Leaning forward on a wooden bench, a young mother named Rebecca panicked. Precious, her 1-year-old daughter, lay gasping in her lap. Lips pursed, chest heaving – Precious’ lungs were ravaged by bacteria and she was on the verge of suffocation. Looking out from Bilibo, her remote Liberian village, at the dirt path and log bridges extending deep into the dense rainforest, Rebecca knew there was only one way to get Precious medical care: to carry her by foot to the nearest clinic — 14 hours away. Read more