Consumer Health Literacy Is Expert Panel’s Topic Oct. 9

In an effort to better educate consumers about significant changes in health care delivery, costs and payment systems, the Ursinus College Business and Economics Department presents a panel: “Our Options Have Changed: Consumer Health Literacy in a Changing Environment.” The event is Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. in the Lenfest Auditorium of the Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Center on the college campus. The public is welcome. Admission is free, and attendees are asked to RSVP on this form.

The program will address challenges arising from the effects of innovation on quality and cost in a changing health care environment, with the goal of enabling consumers to make informed choices as the health care market becomes increasingly market-driven. Health care leaders from the Philadelphia area will discuss these issues, including Larry R. Kaiser, M.D., FACS, CEO of Temple University Health System and Dean of the Temple University School of Medicine, who will offer the keynote address.

Panelists (full bios below) include:

  • Steven Altschuler, M.D., CEO of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Larry R. Kaiser, M.D., Senior Executive Vice President for Health Sciences, Dean of the Temple University School of Medicine
  • Kevin Flynn, Founder and President of HealthCare
    Advocates
  • Robert Sing, D.O., Critical care surgeon specializing in
    sports medicine, acute care, and emergency medicine
  • Karl Stark, Health and Science Editor for The Philadelphia
    Inquirer

Larry R. Kaiser, M.D., is Senior Executive Vice President for Health Sciences, Dean of the Temple University School of Medicine and Chief Executive Officer of the Temple University Health System. Before he came to Temple he was President and Alkek-Williams Chair of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston UTHealth), Professor of Surgery and a Professor of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery. Prior to his appointment in Texas, Dr. Kaiser was the John Rhea Barton Professor and Chair of the Department of Surgery, as well as the Surgeon-in-Chief of the University of Pennsylvania Health System. Selected as the UTHealth president by The University of Texas System Board of Regents, Kaiser assumed the presidency in 2008. Previously, he had held a succession of positions of increasing responsibility at the University of Pennsylvania, including as an associate professor of surgery, chief of general thoracic surgery, founder and director of the lung transplantation program and director of the Center for Lung Cancers and Related Disorders. His research interests include lung cancer, malignant mesothelioma and mediastinal tumors. Kaiser is the author or co-author of more than 13 books and 250 original papers. He has both his bachelor’s and M.D. from Tulane University.

Panelists:

Steven M. Altschuler, M.D., is the chief executive officer of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, a position to which he was elected in April 2000. Prior to assuming this role, he was the Physician-in-Chief and the first holder of the Leonard and Madlyn Abramson Endowed Chair in Pediatrics at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. As a clinician, scientific investigator and administrator, Dr. Altschuler came to his present position with broad academic health system experience. During his more than two decades at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Dr. Altschuler served as a physician-investigator, chief of the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, and the Hospital’s Physician-in-Chief. Dr. Altschuler received his B.A. in mathematics and his M.D. from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and completed his pediatric internship and residency at Children’s Hospital Medical Center-Boston. He completed fellowship training in gastroenterology and nutrition at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. From 1985 to 2000, he was a faculty member of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He is a study section reviewer for the National Institutes of Health, a scientific journal reviewer, and the author or co-author of more than 90 scientific articles, books and abstracts. He is the former editor-in-chief of E-Medicine-Pediatrics  and co-editor of two medical textbooks.

Kevin Flynn saw a need for his business, HealthCare Advocates, in the aftermath of a car accident when he was an 18-year-old college sophomore. Unconscious for three days, he suffered injuries which included a six-inch basilar skull fracture, a severed first cranial nerve, a contusion to the temporal lobe and the bilateral frontal lobe, causing a hemorrhage, the loss of short-term memory and basic academic skills. He spent almost a year in a hospital and an additional two years as an outpatient and he found himself navigating the system to shoulder the financial burden. While recovering, he promised himself he would find a way to make quality healthcare services accessible and affordable. His company, HealthCare Advocates, has expertise in the medical, legal and insurance fields to help members solve problems. In recognition of his pioneering achievements, Flynn has been appointed to the Presidential Business Commission awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by the National Republican Congressional Committee and has been recognized as an industry leader by the Standard and Poor’s companies and other organizations. HealthCare Advocates, Inc. continues to define the role for patient advocates and has been featured on CNN, ABC World News Tonight, CBS Weekend News and NPR, as well as Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Prevention, Self Magazine, US News & World Report, Hospital & Healthcare News, Business Week, Bloomberg Personal Finance, St. Petersburg Times, Philadelphia Business Journal, and other local and national media outlets.

Robert F. Sing, D.O., is a staff physician in the Department of Family Practice, Springfield Hospital, and a staff physician, Department of Family Practice, Chester Crozer Medical Center. He continued his education after graduating Ursinus at the College of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery. He has been an elected Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians, the American College of Osteopathic Emergency Physicians, the American College of Sports Medicine, and the American Osteopathic Academy of Sports Medicine. He has been a Diplomate on many boards, including American Osteopathic Board of General Practice, American Osteopathic Board of Emergency Medicine, American Academy of Pain Management, and others. Dr. Sing has served as the team physician for the University of Pennsylvania and Cornell University Track and Field Team Tour of England in 1982, and was the Medical Director, Pre-Olympic Sports Medicine Conference for the African Nations, Harrare, Zimbabwe in 1984. He was selected to represent Sports America in Nigeria, Africa, to establish and unify the Nigerian Sports Medicine Commission, and has been active in addressing the frequencies of injuries in women javelin throwers. In 1990 he represented the American Osteopathic Academy of Sports Medicine to tour the Olympic Training Center and Sports Medicine facilities in China in 1990. The author of The  Dynamics of the Javelin Throw, he has been the Chief Medical Officer for the U.S. Olympic Cycling Trials and Chief Medical Officer for the “javelin carnival” in Finland in 2007, 2008 and 2010.

Karl Stark is the health and science editor for The Philadelphia Inquirer. He worked as deputy editor of science, medicine and health at The Inquirer from August 2004 through August 2006. Before becoming an editor, Stark was a business health reporter for seven years at The Inquirer, covering hospitals and insurers and the many reasons health care is becoming more expensive, and was The Inquirer’s pharmaceuticals reporter, national/foreign editor. He has won many awards for his investigative work, including the National Press Club’s Consumer Story of the Year. Stark, a 1980 graduate of Yale University, is the vice president of the Association of Health Care Journalists, the nation’s leading group for health care reporters. He helped design a web course for reporters on How to Cover Your Local Hospital, and was a lead author of Covering the Quality of Health Care — A Resource Guide for Journalists, published by the association in 2002. In September, 2001, he finished a year-long media fellowship from the Kaiser Family Foundation that enabled him to write about medical quality and medical errors, and learn firsthand about the Cuban health system. A jazz aficionado, he writes weekly jazz reviews for The Inquirer, and has written for National Public Radio’s jazz website, NPRJazz.org.

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