Health Care

What to Expect from Aspen Ideas: Health 2023

June 20, 2023  • Institute Staff

Many of the biggest challenges of our time—from inequality to reproductive rights and space exploration—are connected directly or indirectly to healthcare. That makes the health space home to some of today’s most impactful ideas, the kind that will be front-and-center at this year’s Aspen Ideas: Health.

This June 21-23 in Aspen, CO, Aspen Ideas: Health will bring together practitioners, researchers, policymakers, and more to discuss some of the most influential ideas shaping modern healthcare. Speakers include Xavier Becerra, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as well as Anthony Fauci, Vivek Murthy, and others. Here’s a preview of some of the ideas that will be shared on the state of health today.

New Ideas in Personal Health

Sometimes, small personal changes can have big health impacts. Many speakers coming to Aspen Ideas: Health are studying ways individuals can optimize their health.

  • It’s well-known that sleep is important for a healthy lifestyle, but sleep loss remains prevalent. In advance of her appearance at Ideas, Julie Flygare, president and CEO of Project Sleep, shared some fascinating new facts about sleep in the hopes that better understanding sleep’s importance can help create a cultural shift toward prioritizing it.
  • Chris Marshall, founder of Sans Bar, wants to bring about a shift that would reexamine the role of alcohol in our lives. Marshall created the alcohol-free Sans Bar from his experiences as a substance abuse counselor, and he is leading a sober curious movement that encourages people to develop a healthier relationship to alcohol.
  • Author Gretchen Rubin is encouraging people to develop a healthier relationship with their own senses. Rubin’s new book, Life in Five Senses, examines how paying closer attention to our five senses can help cultivate mindfulness, which can in turn improve our mental health.
New Ideas in Innovation

To develop new ideas, you have to also develop new ways of thinking. Aspen Ideas: Health is showcasing innovative mindsets to help the community find new approaches to delivering healthcare.

  • Bon Ku, director of the Health Design Lab at Thomas Jefferson University encourages his fellow clinicians to think like designers. He explores how design thinking can improve access to care and help physicians become more creative and empathetic.
  • New ideas also involve new approaches to research. Dorit Donoviel is the executive director of the Translational Research Institute for Space Health (TRISH) at Baylor College of Medicine. She explains how space research and innovation are advancing healthcare on Earth, and that there is enormous potential for conducting research in space.
New Ideas in Equity

The best ideas are worth little if they can’t be implemented equitably. Here are some of the Aspen Ideas: Health fellows dedicated to finding ways to deliver great healthcare to all.

  • Nathan Chomilo, medical director for the State of Minnesota’s Medicaid and MinnesotaCare programs, writes how African Americans face poor quality of life and poor healthcare outcomes in his state. He’s working with local communities to address the ways systemic racism impacts access to healthcare.
  • Patience Lee, associate director of clinical oversight at Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS), also is dedicated to providing disadvantaged communities with better care. Lee focuses on mental health care for foster children and unaccompanied refugee children. Her work centers on serving these children with a trauma-informed framework delivered in a culturally sensitive way.
  • Roopan Gill prioritizes cultural partnerships to deliver healthcare. As the cofounder and executive director of Vitala Global Foundation, she helped create the app Aya Contigo, which helps users manage their reproductive health and mental wellbeing. Gill launched this app in partnership with Venezuelan grassroots organizations to make it available to those living under Venezuela’s restrictive abortion laws.

This is just a snapshot of some of the ideas that will be shared at Aspen Ideas: Health. Stay tuned to our social channels and YouTube for the latest!