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Engaging Wye River - Public Speaking

We provide keynote presentations, and arrange and moderate panel discussions, workshops, and seminars on many healthcare and business related topics. Each subject can be adapted to the format and setting of the program and size and sophistication of the audience.

Speech & Program Topics

  • Communities Shaping a Vision for America's 21st Century Health & Healthcare: Values & Principles for Health Policy This program highlights the findings from phase I of Communities Shaping a Vision for America's 21st Century Health & Healthcare. Working with the White House, the Democratic Leadership Council/Progressive Policy Institute, and leaders from all healthcare stakeholder groups in 12 diverse communities across the country, WRGH conducted a multi-year study to identify shared values and principles, expectations and preferences for our country's healthcare. These findings, we believe, provide a foundation for an informed debate and should be cornerstones for American healthcare policy.
  • A Common Agenda: The Blueprint for American Healthcare Policy In this session we will describe our experience in building a basis for broad-based health policy reform from the ground up, working with community leaders as architects of recommendations. Beginning with the values and principles identified through "Communities Shaping a Vision for America's 21st Century Health & Healthcare," a methodical approach was taken to developing priority policy recommendations in 13 core areas, which are shared by community leaders and Washington policy experts. These ideas represent the potential making of a consensus for health policy.
  • Promoting and Enabling Healthy Change: The Cultural Approach to Health & Healthcare Most debates in healthcare focus on tangible elements, like access and finance and incentives. But much of the change that will be required to improve our health and healthcare relates to intangibles-like culture! Cultural change isn't easy, but it is critical. In this session, we talk about what we can learn from successful social marketing campaigns and other industries' efforts to influence behavior. Cultural change takes leadership, the right messages and the right interventions. We need to create a new language that resonates with the majority of the American public-a language that is culturally palatable……one that trumps politics!
  • Top Down or Bottom Up--What is the Recipe for Meaningful Health Policy Development? In Washington there is little meaningful talk about healthcare policy. It's mostly about politics. Time is spent debating extremes rather than finding consensus. In this program, we discuss why the top down approach to health care reform which has been the norm for 60 years has not worked. The essence of living in a pluralistic and democratic society is that before making policy, an effort is made to find out what citizens want. Yet, the American people have never been deliberately involved in discussions of key choices in healthcare. The critical path to reform may well begin with public dialogue and local innovation!
  • The Wye River Process: Building Consensus, Facilitating Change Having worked with leaders in and out of Washington, DC for more than two decades the principals of WRGH understand how to create pathways for meaningful change. Here we describe a unique methodology which we developed to engage leaders in substantive conversations. We define terms, discuss perspectives, debate merits, determine commonality, deliberate on priorities, and decide on action. This process can be taught to groups using a motivational overview followed by a step by step discussion of key elements and critical success factors in a workshop setting.
  • Pundits, Politicians, Providers and the Public-Do They Share a Vision for Health Care? This session focuses on the numerous disconnects that riddle healthcare--disconnects between public expectations and the reality of the healthcare system; disconnects between the public's view of the healthcare system and their personal experience; and disconnects between what the public says it wants and what politicians recognize and respond to. The public does not want to make trade-offs in healthcare, yet there is a fundamental conflict between our concerns about cost and our demands for choice and freedom. Providers and payers all have mal-aligned incentives when it comes to promoting health. These conundrums will require a fundamental shift in how we view the value equation in healthcare. We are in an upward cycle of our technical and scientific ability, which will have a major impact on cost, values and ethical decisions. How do we begin the debate?
  • 6 'Truths' About Tackling Healthcare Challenges Drawing on the wisdom of the leaders we have worked with in Washington and in communities across the country for the past 5 years, in this session we provide an overview of what we have learned about tackling healthcare challenges. In a nutshell, we need a vision; government won't solve our problems; communities are the logical place for initiating change; the challenges are too great for the healthcare system alone; we need to think health, not healthcare; and our health is too important to leave to others!
  • A National Perspective on Local Strategies In this presentation we first share what we have learned in our work with leaders in communities across the country about the steps we will need to take as individuals, as organizations, as communities, and as a country, to create a healthcare system that better meets our needs, and is more aligned with our value system. Second, we highlight some considerations for a community whose leaders are motivated to work together to enhance to the health, broadly defined, of its citizens. Third, when relevant, we will share some observations about the specific community's assets and challenges when it comes to promoting community health.
  • Let's Recreate a Sense of Community to Tackle Healthcare Challenges! There is a great opportunity to improve the health of the nation by employing the talents of a broad-based multi-stakeholder effort by organizing and aligning the short and long term interests of traditional and non-traditional stakeholders, who may have expertise in areas like social marketing, not commonly found among healthcare stakeholders. In this program we highlight the critical success factors of leadership and adequate resources, along with the right messages, interventions, partners, and incentives. It is not necessary to reinvent the wheel. Rather we can build on current activity--pilots, demonstrations, and national programs--already underway.
  • A Future Vision? The Promise and Perils of Patient-Directed Health Care Beginning with a look at the current healthcare landscape and how we got here, this session considers the pros and cons of so called patient-directed or consumer-driven strategies. Rather than paint the rosy picture portrayed by advocates or the doomsday view of detractors, a balanced perspective on progress, challenges, and opportunities is provided.
  • Consumerism In Healthcare: How Did We Get Here & What Are We Trying To Achieve? This session discusses concepts of Consumer-Directed Health Care (CDHC) in context of the history of healthcare reform, as different private and public sector 3rd parties have tried to mitigate tensions between limited resources and unlimited expectations, as well as in context of trends in other industries. Consideration is then given to several of the purported goals of CDHC, e.g., helping to cover the uninsured, lowering costs, providing more choice and control, while focusing on the myths versus the realities.
  • Consumerism In Healthcare: Who Needs to Change & How Do We Make it Happen? This session considers the important question, If consumerism is to be the brave new world of healthcare, how do we ensure it is operationalized appropriately? At the end of the day, medical care revolves around the doctor-patient relationship and ultimately that relationship determines the cost and quality of care. The role of all other parties is to support that relationship. However, everyone needs to change, and some of the change required is cultural and intangible!
  • FSAs, HRAs, HSAs: Alphabet Soup or Substantial Protein! This presentation/workshop drills down into the complexities of the new account financing vehicles for healthcare. Opinions about HSAs and HRAs range from the "solution" to the cost crisis to abandonment by employers. We believe the various forms of health savings accounts have significant potential, especially in helping to facilitate wise decision-making around "discretionary" care. However, the accounts represent only one tool in much more broad-based efforts to promote healthy behavior change and consumer engagement in health and healthcare. Under the best scenario, a less paternalistic, but still supportive, relationship between employers and employees could result in dramatically different consumer/patient interactions with health care providers and the health care system, and ultimately lead to improved health. The challenge is for employers to focus long term on the big picture, shifting the paradigm over time through multiple strategies operating simultaneously.
  • Pharmaceutical Benefits: Averting a Crisis-Practical Approaches to a Complex Problem In recent years several trends have pushed the "pharmaceutical conundrum" onto center stage. This session looks at drug costs in the context of both direct and indirect healthcare costs, as well as productivity. Pharmaceutical benefits are examined from the perspective of consumer-directed care and the types of benefit strategies that might make sense. Finally, we raise the question, what do biotechnological advances and genomics mean for the future of pharmaceutical benefits?

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