Around the Institute

Sessions to Watch at Spotlight Health

June 22, 2018  • David K. Gibson

If you’re at Spotlight Health (or following along online), it’s because you’re passionate about health, and probably one particular area of health. But there is room at the Aspen Ideas Festival for the enthusiastic generalist, and our programming is set up to offer a mix of the informational and inspirational. Why not spend the weekend exploring new ideas?

A conversation with surgeon, author, and researcher Atul Gawande

Saturday, June 23 | 9:10 -10:00 am | McNulty Room, Doerr-Hosier Center | Interview with Judy Woodruff

Yes, he’s a best-selling author, New Yorker staff writer, and a practicing physician and researcher. That alone guarantees an enlightening conversation with Atul Gawande. But the line of questioning we’re looking forward to involves the recent announcement that Dr. Gawande will lead the new joint healthcare venture created by Berkshire Hathaway, J.P. Morgan, and Amazon. This initiative, it has been widely quoted, will be “free from profit-making incentives and constraints.” Expect the question, “So… what does that even look like?”

A Conversation with Ava DuVernay about Art, Justice, and the Healthy Society

Saturday, June 23 | 8:00 – 9:00 pm | Hotel Jerome Ballroom | Interview with Damian Woetzl

If people don’t see a connection between culture and health, it’s because they haven’t been paying attention to filmmaker Ava DuVernay. Her work is unapologetic in its depiction of systemic social injustice and its effect on public health. But if we know that racism, sexism, poverty, and injustice can create negative health events, cannot the inverse be true? As art changes society for the better, can it also make society more healthy? Watch

How Race and Place Influence Health

Saturday, June 23, 2018 | 4:10-5pm | Koch Tent | Rich Besser, Kevin Washington, Kathy Ko Chin, Maria Hinojosa

If the arts don’t convince you, then how about some hard data? Racial segregation and uneven access to opportunity are obvious obstacles to upward mobility, but also create health inequalities that parallel economic ones. The poverty and lack of opportunity that we associate with rural and urban black communities is echoed in segregated places like Chinatown, Native American lands, and Hispanic barrios. Separate isn’t just unequal — it’s making us sicker.

When Breath Becomes Air: A Conversation About Life, Death, and Humanity in Health Care

Friday, June 22, 2018 | 7:30pm | Belly Up | Lucy Kalanithi and Kate Bowler

We spend so much time avoiding death, we just don’t know how to talk about it when it approaches. Two authors — one diagnosed with stage IV cancer in her 30s, the other who lost her physician husband to lung cancer at 37 — have struggled to find the humanity in mortality. Expect tears, hope, and frustrations with the American health care industry.

The Science of Delivering Health Care

Saturday, June 23, 2018 | 9:10-10am | Koch Tent | Toyin Ajayi, Jay Komarneni, Keller Rinaudo, David Leonhardt

Drugs by drone. Virtual doctor visits. Big-data diagnostics. This is the future of health care, and the future is now. This panel is full of people thinking about new ways of thinking about health care. But the end, the audience will be full of them, too.