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John Smith at Crain's Health Care Forum

Crain’s Health Care Forum Tackles Region’s Health Concerns

More than 200 health care executives and practitioners convened at the NEOMED Education and Wellness (NEW) Center last week to discuss social, economic and business implications of some of the top threats to our region’s health.

NEOMED President Jay A. Gershen, D.D.S., Ph.D., set the tone for the day with introductory remarks, noting that as a community-based medical university with Colleges of Medicine, Pharmacy and Graduate Studies; five research areas of excellence; and the integrated NEW Center, NEOMED was proud to host the Crain’s Health Care Forum for a frank public discussion of important health care topics.

Elizabeth McIntyre, publisher and editor of Crain’s Cleveland Business, moderated a panel of health care executives in a discussion of hot-button topics including the uncertain status of Medicaid funding. Bernard Boulanger, M.D. (MetroHealth); William Considine (Akron Children’s Hospital); Brian Donley, M.D. (Cleveland Clinic) Dan Simon, M.D. (University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center); and Tom Strauss (Sisters of Charity Health System) proposed a number of solutions, among them:

  • Take services into the communities—all communities—to make it easier for patients to obtain them
  • Use new technology (telehealth) to help patients be seen at home, as many prefer
  • First address the social determinants of health, such as homelessness and lack of transportation, since health care itself has been found to be only about 20 percent of the solution to good health  


What are solutions for the changing health care needs of an aging U.S. population? How can behavioral health providers help address the statistic that suicide is the second leading cause of death for people between the ages of 15-34?

In small sessions throughout the day, experts such as Rick Kellar, president of the Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation, provided stimulating—often alarming—research along with practical ideas for improving the status quo.

One theme that repeatedly surfaced in presentations and questions from the audience was the opioid epidemic. Providers are being given courses in best practices, and a new clinic focused on the opioid epidemic is opening this month at MetroHealth, according to panelists. Watch The Pulse for more on this topic.