Schedule for 2017

Announcing the 2017 Aspen Ideas Festival schedule! Find the session you're looking for by sorting by Program Tracks, Session Date, or search by session name or speaker.  

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Festival Previews   Intersections
Explore Project HEAL Art Exhibition
3:00 pm - 3:20 pm MDT on Thursday, June 22, 2017
Created by IDEAS xLab, Creative Agents of Change Foundation, and the Center for Art + Health Innovation, Project HEAL (Health. Equity. Art. Learning.) is at the vanguard of transdisciplinary social innovation—training artists and cultural producers as a new prevention workforce at the intersection of policy, civic engagement, and population health. Examples of artist interventions include using sculpture to visualize trauma and time poverty, driving policy change through poetry, and leveraging data science and environmental justice in the transformation of a middle school into a cultural hub for health-in-all policies innovation.
Paepcke Lobby
Festival Previews   Moonshots
Can Artificial Intelligence Revolutionize Medicine?
3:30 pm - 4:30 pm MDT on Thursday, June 22, 2017
The genius of artificial intelligence (AI) is its capacity to swiftly mine repositories of data, such as the vast amounts of information stored in electronic health records and medical literature, recognize patterns, and respond with recommended actions. AI is already being used to diagnose unfamiliar symptoms, predict drug responses, and perform robotic surgery, and seers predict a limitless future for machine learning. But computational processes may never be able to incorporate context and inference into their algorithms and that’s essential to medicine. How far can AI extend the mind of a doctor? What is the impact on the healing touch?
Koch Tent
Festival Previews   Spotlight Viewpoints
Federal Health Policy: An Interview with Kathleen Sebelius, 21st Secretary, US Department of Health and Human Services
3:30 pm - 4:30 pm MDT on Thursday, June 22, 2017
Responsibility for implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), in line with Congressional intent, rests with the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The 21st secretary of HHS, Kathleen Sebelius, discusses the impact of the law since it was passed under her watch in 2010. She'll also talk about the provisions Congress might alter, the extent to which the executive branch can chip away at the ACA without new legislation, and whether there is any room for compromise. Looking into a crystal ball, she also offers insights about the future direction of the government’s role in health.
Paepcke Auditorium
Opening Session  
Spotlight Health Opening and Welcome
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm MDT on Thursday, June 22, 2017
Join Walter Isaacson, Margaret Low, Peggy Clark, Katie Drasser, and Select Spotlight Health Presenters to kick off the Spotlight Health Festival.
Greenwald Pavilion
Opening Session  
Opening Reception
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm MDT on Thursday, June 22, 2017
Doerr-Hosier Center
Evening Session   Moonshots
Bending the Arc (Film and Discussion)
7:30 pm - 10:00 pm MDT on Thursday, June 22, 2017
Thirty years ago, a group of crusaders came together determined to make high-quality health care available to all, even in the world’s poorest countries. Most observers said the costs were too high, the barriers too formidable, and it couldn’t be done. Untamed diseases were rampant, political and bureaucratic machinery stood in the way, and charitable entities had their own style for doing things. But this brilliant, headstrong team has helped persuade the international community that it has a medical and moral obligation to act, and their convictions hold out hope to millions of people. See the film, Bending the Arc, and then hear from some of these champions.
Paepcke Auditorium
Evening Session   Caregiving
How Safe Is Your Hospital?
7:30 pm - 8:30 pm MDT on Thursday, June 22, 2017
Medical errors in hospitals rank as the third leading cause of death in the United States, exceeded only by cancer and heart attacks, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University. At least 200,000 preventable deaths occur annually in these institutions of healing, although some researchers say the true number may be double that. Hospital-acquired infections, diagnostic errors, and medication mix-ups are among the leading culprits. Data compiled on the Medicare.gov Hospital Compare website and by U.S. News and World Report are designed to help consumers make educated choices, but how reliable are their data? And can a troubled hospital turn itself around?
Koch Building, Booz Allen Hamilton Room
Evening Session   Spotlight Viewpoints
Whither Health Care Reform?
7:30 pm - 8:30 pm MDT on Thursday, June 22, 2017
Regardless of the fate of the Affordable Care Act, the American health care system will continue to undergo an historic transformation, fueled by evolving science and technology, new approaches to reimbursement, restructured provider networks, and demographic shifts. The health policies of the future are likely to reflect the influences of both conservative and progressive thinkers. Somehow, they will need to find balance between a market-based health system that stresses personal responsibility and choice with a human rights approach that considers affordability and access to care to be the highest priorities. Come listen to a rational debate across the political spectrum. (Underwritten by The SCAN Foundation)
Hotel Jerome Ballroom
Evening Session   Spotlight Viewpoints
Late Breaker: Health Reform Legislation to Arrive on Senate Floor
9:00 pm - 10:00 pm MDT on Thursday, June 22, 2017
US Senator Mitch McConnell has just announced that he will bring health reform legislation to the Senate floor for a vote next week. What is actually proposed in this bill, which is designed to replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and has been crafted largely out of public view? And what does it mean for health care? Three top health reporters - Margot Sanger-Katz (New York Times), Julie Rovner (Kaiser Health News), and Joanne Kenen (Politico) - deliver late-breaking news about what is happening behind the scenes, and what comes next. Enjoy a glass of beer or wine while the insiders talk.
Aspen Meadows Restaurant
Misc  
Yoga in the Park
7:00 am - 7:45 am MDT on Friday, June 23, 2017
Anderson Park
Breakfast Talk   The Brain
The Soothing Salve of Nature (Buses leave from the Limelight Hotel at 7am)
7:00 am - 8:50 am MDT on Friday, June 23, 2017
Come sit on the shore of mountain-edged Maroon Lake, experience a riot of floral color, take in the sounds and scents of the wild, and learn what they do does to our minds. Human beings are part of nature, not apart from it, and when we spend time in a natural environment, our mental performance and creative problem-solving skills improve. Scientists trying to measure the restorative powers of nature can detect changes in brain wave patterns, heart-rate variability, and hormone levels after exposure. A minimum dose of nature seems essential to health and happiness. How do we ensure that everyone gets enough?
Maroon Bells Amphitheatre
Misc  
Merck for Mothers Walk (one mile – beginner level)
7:15 am - 8:00 am MDT on Friday, June 23, 2017
It takes a lot to be a mother. For some, it takes their lives. Participate in a morning trail walk to raise awareness about the issue of maternal mortality. For each participant, Merck for Mothers will donate on your behalf to support a mother’s safe pregnancy and delivery. Together, we will #EndMaternalMortality.
Doerr-Hosier Center
Breakfast Talk   The Brain
Brigham Health, Brigham and Women's Hospital Presents: Vulnerabilities and Resiliency across the Life Span
8:00 am - 8:50 am MDT on Friday, June 23, 2017
Brain injury and diseases can determine overall health and well-being - from birth through old age. Brigham and Women's experts discuss their findings on brain vulnerabilities and prevention and treatment approaches to maintain and restore brain health. They will draw on their research on pre-term infant development, sex differences in the female brain, age-related factors, and the impact of circadian rhythm and sleep in dealing with brain development, stress, pain, and behavioral and cognitive conditions.
Koch Building, Booz Allen Hamilton Room
Breakfast Talk   Spotlight Viewpoints
Will People, Data, or Payments Drive Health Care into the Future?
8:00 am - 8:50 am MDT on Friday, June 23, 2017
Many health systems are retooling to provide “patient-centered care,” defined by the Institute of Medicine as a partnership between providers and patients that respects individual preferences, needs, and values. The use of big data to individualize treatment, detect clinical trends, share best practices, and predict the risks of infection and drug side effects is also reshaping patterns of care. And shifting payment strategies inevitably exert an enormous influence on the delivery system. Will a patient-centered, data-centered or payment-centered system ultimately dominate the delivery of health care? Or will it be some combination of them all?
Doerr-Hosier Center, McNulty Room
Breakfast Talk   Spotlight Viewpoints
American Hospital Association and American Osteopathic Association Present: Reimagining Physician Training and Partnerships to Create Healthier Communities
8:00 am - 8:50 am MDT on Friday, June 23, 2017
While the Affordable Care Act reduced the ranks of the uninsured, many Americans still struggle to find the right care team when and where they need one. But innovative solutions to enhance patient access to community-based primary care in underserved communities are emerging. We’re seeing unlikely collaborations between competing hospitals committed to improving patient outcomes; public-private partnerships that address affordability, advance innovation, and promote community health and wellness; and unique physician-training programs, such as one that embeds service-minded medical students in communities of need. Here’s a look at the landscape.
Koch Building, Lauder Room
Breakfast Talk   Med School
The Opioid Epidemic in America
8:00 am - 8:50 am MDT on Friday, June 23, 2017
Every day, 91 Americans die following an opioid overdose. The misuse of opioids such as prescription pain relievers, heroin, and fentanyl is a national crisis, with a profound impact on social and economic well-being and on the public health. Although effective treatments for opioid addiction do exist, they are sorely underutilized. Potential therapies to help curtail the epidemic include analgesics with less potential for abuse, alternative approaches to pain relief, more user-friendly formulations of naloxone to counter overdoses, and better remedies for addiction, including new medications and immunotherapies. Can we do better at turning research findings into clinical practice? How do we engage the medical community more fully?
Limelight Hotel
Breakfast Talk   Spotlight Viewpoints
In the Weeds: Health Reform under President Obama
8:00 am - 8:50 am MDT on Friday, June 23, 2017
What went right and what went wrong with health care under the Obama Administration? Surely some reasoned, thoughtful answers lie between the firmly held poles where ideologues have staked their ground. Julie Rovner, Chief Washington Correspondent at Kaiser Health News, digs into health policy in conversation with Kathleen Sebelius, who helped to implement the ACA as Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services, and Andy Slavitt, former Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Hotel Jerome Ballroom
Plenary Session   Moonshots
Bridging Technology, Physics, and Medicine: A New Frontier
9:00 am - 10:00 am MDT on Friday, June 23, 2017
Nanobiophysics draws together the mainstays of physics, such as mechanical forces and electromagnetic fields, with the biochemical and cellular processes at the foundation of medicine. Anita Goel, a pioneer in this emerging platform, helped rocket MRSA, the antibiotic-resistant superbug, to the International Space Station so that scientists can study the influence of microgravity on the microbe’s mutation patterns. Goel also won the XPRIZE for Gene-RADAR®, a mobile device that can accurately diagnose any disease with a genetic fingerprint in minutes; she’ll be demonstrating that breakthrough during this interactive session. Her passions reflect a drive to incubate innovation, commercialize and scale new products, and maximize their global humanitarian impact.
Koch Building, Booz Allen Hamilton Room
Plenary Session   Intersections
Building Global Health Security from the Ground Up
9:00 am - 10:00 am MDT on Friday, June 23, 2017
Community health workers, social media networks, and local residents serve as the first line of defense against global health risks, especially infectious diseases and bioterrorism. While top-down initiatives provide essential resources to detect looming threats, including sophisticated surveillance and diagnostic tools, outbreaks are most likely to be detected first at the local level. Right now, the lines of communication that should tie governments and large-scale NGOs to people on the ground are fractured or nonexistent. How do we form partnerships that empower residents of neighborhoods and towns, in urban and rural settings, to serve as the eyes and ears of global health security?
Doerr-Hosier Center, McNulty Room
Plenary Session   Intersections
Health and US Politics
9:00 am - 10:00 am MDT on Friday, June 23, 2017
White working-class voters without a college education are most vulnerable to diseases of despair — suicide, drug overdoses, and alcohol-related liver disease — and they are also most likely to have voted for President Trump. This population is deeply concerned about rising health care costs, according to focus groups conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, and more likely to lose their health insurance if the Affordable Care Act is repealed. One thing both political parties keep learning is that no matter how dissatisfied the American public is with the health care system, doing anything about it is risky business. What do we know about the connections between health and politics, and why do they matter?
Koch Tent

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