Schedule for 2018

Announcing the 2018 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.

Downloadable Spotlight Health Agenda

Downloadable Aspen Ideas Festival Agenda

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America’s Biopharmaceutical Companies Present: Breakthrough Medicine — How Can Patients Afford It?
10:20 am - 11:10 am MDT on Friday, June 22, 2018
Breakthrough medicines are revolutionizing how we fight disease, but patients won’t be able to benefit from those treatments and cures if they can’t afford them. Dealing with chronic and acute illness is hard enough – patients shouldn’t also have to fight to secure the medicines they need. Hear creative thinkers advance their ideas for making innovative therapies more accessible to patients.
Koch Building, Lauder Room
Breakout   Spotlight Viewpoints
US vs. the World: Who Has the Best Health Care System?
10:20 am - 11:10 am MDT on Friday, June 22, 2018
The United States health system falls short, bluntly declares the Commonwealth Fund in its recent report, “Mirror, Mirror 2017: International Comparison Reflects Flaws and Opportunities for Better US Health Care.” The study compares the US to ten other high-income countries. The US is by far the top spender, but sinks to the bottom when it comes to measures of outcome, access, and equity. The three nations that rank highest in overall health system performance – United Kingdom, Australia, and the Netherlands – all provide universal coverage. In contrast, poorer nations such as Rwanda show dramatic decreases in child and maternal mortality and increases in life span. What can the US learn from other approaches?
Aspen Meadows, Madeleine K. Albright Pavilion
Lunch Session In Town   Spotlight Viewpoints
KHN's 'What the Health' Podcast: The State of State Health (Live Taping)
12:00 pm - 12:50 pm MDT on Friday, June 22, 2018
The states shoulder a significant amount of responsibility for tackling the opioid epidemic, reversing obesity trends, and reducing tobacco use within their borders. They also have policy decisions to make about expanding Medicaid, developing health exchanges under the Affordable Care Act, serving undocumented residents, and strengthening their public health systems. Budget constraints, politics, demographics, and health indicators all influence their response. Health policy journalist Julie Rover and her co-hosts on KHN’s “What the Health?” talk to governors John Hickenlooper (Colorado) and Steve Bullock (Montana) about the health challenges in their states, and how they provide and pay for health care. (Underwritten by the Commonwealth Fund)
Hotel Jerome Ballroom
Lunch Session On Campus   Our Planet, Our Health
The Imperiled Food Supply
12:00 pm - 12:50 pm MDT on Friday, June 22, 2018
Population growth, shifting agricultural practices, and altered weather patterns are weighing on the food supply, a pressure that will only intensify over the next 30 years, when the planet holds an estimated 10 billion inhabitants. Rising temperatures will reduce crop yield and spawn more pests, higher carbon dioxide levels will lessen the nutritional value of food, and fish will move away from the equator, where the greatest population growth is expected, and closer to the poles. Biotechnology, resource management techniques, better irrigation, crop insurance, and altered trade policies can all limit the damage, but world leaders must prepare now for the coming challenge to food security.
Doerr-Hosier Center, Kaufman Room
Lunch Session On Campus   Spotlight Viewpoints
Clearing the Air: Living with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
12:00 pm - 12:50 pm MDT on Friday, June 22, 2018
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), is the third leading killer in the US, yet it rarely commands the attention paid to #1 heart disease and #2 cancer. As both advocate and patient, Grace Anne Dorney-Koppel is fighting to change that. After being given less than five years to live in 2001, Grace Anne embarked on an ambitious rehab program, and now helps fund pulmonary and cardiac rehabilitation clinics across the country. She will participate in this session by video-conference because Aspen’s high altitude makes it impossible for her to attend. On stage will be her husband, noted broadcaster Ted Koppel, and Dr. James Crapo, a renowned pulmonologist and COPD researcher from National Jewish Health, the nation’s leading respiratory hospital.
Doerr-Hosier Center, McNulty Room
Lunch Session In Town   The Cutting Edge of Medicine and Science
Med School: Breakthroughs in Diabetes
12:00 pm - 12:50 pm MDT on Friday, June 22, 2018
Almost 10% of the US population lives with diabetes – that’s 30 million people, with another 84 million diagnosed with prediabetes. The devastating disease can shorten lives and increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, vision loss, and the need for limb amputation – but it can also be managed with lifestyle changes and exciting new therapeutic advances. Novel drugs and devices are moving the needle forward, care is being delivered in innovative ways, and a glimpse into the future suggests that better treatment strategies, and improved outcomes, are on the horizon.
Limelight Hotel
Luncheon Roundtable  
Roundtable Lunch: The Critical Role of Patients and Advocacy Groups in Research and Development
12:00 pm - 12:50 pm MDT on Friday, June 22, 2018
Marble Garden Tent
Luncheon Roundtable  
Roundtable Lunch: National Taskforce on Humanity in Health Care Designs a Blueprint for Rekindling Joy Among Clinicians
12:00 pm - 12:50 pm MDT on Friday, June 22, 2018
GOBOLDLY Tent (Paepcke Lawn)
Lunch Session On Campus   The Cutting Edge of Medicine and Science
Latebreaker: Skip the Chemo: Landmark Findings about Breast Cancer
12:00 pm - 12:50 pm MDT on Friday, June 22, 2018
Women with early-stage breast cancer may not need any chemotherapy. That’s the treatment-transforming finding from just-published research in The New England Journal of Medicine, which drew on more than 10,000 women for the study. By analyzing the genetics of tumor samples removed during surgery, doctors were able to distinguish between those who might gain additional benefit from chemo, with all of its toxic side effects, and those who could safely skip it. Joined by the CEO of the American Cancer Society, one of the lead authors of the study talks about its conclusions and how they will change standards of care.
Aspen Meadows, Madeleine K. Albright Pavilion
Luncheon Roundtable  
Roundtable Lunch: Continuing the Conversation: Unconventional Thinking Will Save Health Care
12:00 pm - 12:50 pm MDT on Friday, June 22, 2018
Marble Garden Tent
Luncheon Roundtable  
Roundtable Lunch: #RAREis: Closing the Innovation Gap in Rare Disease
12:00 pm - 12:50 pm MDT on Friday, June 22, 2018
Marble Garden Tent
Luncheon Roundtable  
Roundtable Lunch: Purpose and Resilience: Who Cares for the Caregiver?
12:00 pm - 12:50 pm MDT on Friday, June 22, 2018
GOBOLDLY Tent (Paepcke Lawn)
Deep Dive: Genetics and Genomics, Today and Tomorrow
1:20 pm - 2:40 pm MDT on Friday, June 22, 2018
The sequencing of the human genome – a complete map of the body’s three million base pairs – opened a window into disease processes, led to new diagnostic tools and personalized therapies, and heralded an age of medical discovery. A brief documentary produced by Retro Report describes the historic race to unlock the genomic code, the birth of precision medicine, the use of CRISPR technology, the evolution of gene therapy, and the potential of genetic testing. The film is followed by in-depth conversation with experts who explain how genomics is changing much of what we know about medicine and what we can expect in the future.
Doerr-Hosier Center, McNulty Room
Deep Dive   Our Planet, Our Health
Deep Dive: Who Is Prepared for the Next Epidemic?
1:20 pm - 2:40 pm MDT on Friday, June 22, 2018
Although infectious disease outbreaks, from influenza to Ebola, surface with alarming frequency, more than 80% of the world has not yet developed an adequate response plan. Does your nation have one in place? Resolve to Save Lives has launched a new website that assigns an epidemic preparedness score to 180 countries, giving journalists, advocates and citizens the tools they need to drive change. Former CDC director Tom Frieden introduces the site, then will be joined by three of the world’s leading experts on global health security to discuss the state of the planet’s preparedness for the next disease epidemic.
Koch Tent
Deep Dive   Spotlight Viewpoints
Creative Tensions: Who Owns Your Health?
1:20 pm - 2:40 pm MDT on Friday, June 22, 2018
Who is responsible for keeping us healthy? Provocative questions about responsibility, control, and power are being vigorously debated as models of health care are redesigned, prevention gains cachet, and the roles of individual behavior, advocacy, public policy, and government responsibility are weighed. Creative Tensions is a conversation that moves, one in which participants reveal where they stand on an issue by where they stand in the room. Guided by a moderator, Creative Tensions is an eye-opening experience that embodies three essential dimensions of human-centered design—reflection, empathy, and curiosity.
Kresge Building, Hines Room
Pfizer Presents: Seeking to Treat Disease at Its Genetic Source
3:00 pm - 3:50 pm MDT on Friday, June 22, 2018
Rare diseases caused by a single faulty gene are the most immediate target of gene therapy. Scientists are developing engineered viruses, called viral vectors, to deliver correct copies of missing or defective genes in patients suffering from hemophilia, Friedreich’s ataxia, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, spinal muscular atrophy, and other devastating diseases. With the recent approval of a novel gene therapy to treat an inherited form of vision loss, and other therapies in late-stage trials, potentially life-altering options could be on the horizon for many patients, who may someday be cured with a single treatment. But industry, regulators, patients, and advocates are likely to face opportunities and challenges before the full promise of gene therapy may be realized.
Koch Building, Lauder Room
Breakout   Spotlight Viewpoints
Carrot or Stick: How Do We Promote Healthy Eating?
3:00 pm - 3:50 pm MDT on Friday, June 22, 2018
Federal funds could not be used to pay for sugar-sweetened beverages under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly called food stamps), if recommendations from the Bipartisan Policy Center are adopted. In its 2018 report, Leading with Nutrition, the center calls for restrictions and incentives that would recast SNAP as a tool for healthy eating. Other advocates argue that giving people more purchasing power or other rewards for choosing nutritious foods is the best pathway to good health. The optimal relationship between agricultural and nutrition policies and health is up for debate, but there is agreement on the overarching goal: improved health outcomes and reduced costs.
Aspen Meadows, Madeleine K. Albright Pavilion
Fighting Cancer in Africa
3:00 pm - 3:50 pm MDT on Friday, June 22, 2018
Cancer is on the rise in Africa, with the World Health Organization predicting that by 2020, it will take the lives of one million people a year across the continent. The most common forms of the disease in Africa -- breast, cervical and prostate cancers -- are also the most treatable, but drugs have been in scarce supply, and the price of treatment remains a huge obstacle. While cancer has not yet received the attention accorded to infectious disease, the first-ever cancer center has opened in Rwanda, the American Cancer Society is forging partnerships across Africa, and some pharmaceutical companies have begun to steeply discount their therapies. A commitment to saving lives is growing.
Koch Building, Booz Allen Hamilton Room
Breakout   Healthy Communities
Community Health Workers: The Line of First Defense
3:00 pm - 3:50 pm MDT on Friday, June 22, 2018
Community health workers bring lifesaving care to hard-to-reach locations. More than one billion people inhabit areas so remote that they lack any access to healthcare, but not too remote to trigger fast-moving epidemics. Enter community health workers, who can detect disease outbreaks, identify malnutrition and malaria, and provide basic primary care. Once operating largely alone, these practitioners are now connecting through online platforms and learning communities to become a global movement.
Koch Tent
Cutting-Edge Technology Takes Aim at Gun Violence
3:00 pm - 3:50 pm MDT on Friday, June 22, 2018
Gun violence in the US is a public health epidemic. With partisan battles currently making state and federal legislative solutions elusive, private sector trendsetters are quietly exploring other avenues of opportunity. The Smart Tech Challenges Foundation funds research to advance biometric identification and other security technologies that allow only authorized users to fire their guns. But Colt Manufacturing discovered the technical and political obstacles to smart guns the hard way when it tried to develop a digital lock. Shot Spotter uses acoustic-sensing technology to detect gunshots across a community and alert local law enforcement to their location. Leaders from all three organizations talk about their approaches, and how they can hit the public health target of reducing gun violence?
Doerr-Hosier Center, Kaufman Room

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