Convention Keynote Speakers

Dave deBronkart
Thursday, March 6

Dave deBronkart

Dave deBronkart, known on the internet as e-Patient Dave, is the author of the highly rated Let Patients Help: A Patient Engagement Handbook. After beating stage IV kidney cancer in 2007 he became a blogger, health policy advisor and international keynote speaker. An accomplished speaker in his professional life before cancer, he is today the best-known spokesman for the patient engagement movement, attending over 200 conferences and policy meetings internationally in the past two years, including testifying in Washington for patient access to the medical record under Meaningful Use.

A co-founder and board member of the Society for Participatory Medicine, e-Patient Dave has appeared in Time, U.S. News, USA Today, Wired, MIT Technology Review, and the HealthLeaders cover story “Patient of the Future,” and his writings have been published in the British Medical Journal, the Society for General Internal Medicine Forum, and the conference journal of the American Society for Clinical Oncology. In 2009 HealthLeaders named him and his doctor to their annual list of “20 People Who Make Healthcare Better.”

Dave’s TED Talk Let Patients Help has gone viral, in the top half of the most viewed TED Talks of all time, approaching a half million views; volunteers have added subtitles in 26 languages, indicating the global appeal of his message, and in 2012 the National Library of Medicine announced that it’s capturing his blog in its History of Medicine Division.

Tom Delbanco, MD, MACP
Thursday, March 6

Tom Delbanco

Tom Delbanco, MD, MACP, is the Richard and Florence Koplow – James Tullis Professor of General Medicine and Primary Care, Harvard Medical School. Until 2002, he was Chief of the Division of General Medicine and Primary Care at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a unit he created and led for more than 30 years.

Educated at Harvard College and the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, Dr Delbanco trained in internal medicine at Bellevue, Harlem, and Presbyterian Hospitals in New York. In 1971, he came to Beth Israel Hospital in Boston and created one of the first primary care practice and teaching programs at an academic health center. Today, Healthcare Associates provides for more than 100,000 patient visits annually and serves 400 patients with HIV infection.

In 1974, Dr Delbanco developed one of the first residency training programs in general internal medicine and primary care, and in 1979 he created and led the Harvard Medical School Faculty Development and Fellowship Program that has now trained more than 250 general internists for academic careers.

In 1978, he spent a year in Congress as a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow. Dr. Delbanco has directed three Salzburg Seminars, the first on alcoholism, the second on AIDS, and the third, 'Through the Patient's Eyes,' developing a health system that focuses on the patient perspective. One of 5 founders of the Society of General Internal Medicine, an organization of 3,000 physicians and social scientists in academic general internal medicine, he served as its President in 1986. He has been a Council member of the American Public Health Association, served on the Program Committee of the Institute of Medicine, and was a director of the National Public Health and Hospitals Institute. He was the founding Chair of the Picker Institutes in the USA and Europe, organizations that document patient experiences with care and work with patients to improve health services.

An internist who practiced at the BIDMC for 40 years, Dr Delbanco is the author of numerous scholarly papers and has co-edited three books: Alcoholism: A Guide for the Primary Care Physicians; Manual of Clinical Evaluation: Strategies for Cost-Effective Care; and, Through the Patients' Eyes. Writer and Director of an award-winning film and educational DVD, “When Things Go Wrong: Voices of Patients and Families,” he was featured in Bill Moyers' television series and book, Healing and the Mind, and is senior editor of a monthly case study series, "Clinical Crossroads," published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). In 1998, Dr. Delbanco was named a Master of the American College of Physicians, and in 2003, he received the Robert J. Glaser Award, the highest honor awarded by the Society of General Internal Medicine. In 2006, Harvard Medical School gave him the William Silen Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring Award.

Currently, Dr Delbanco and his colleague, Jan Walker, are leading “OpenNotes,” a national effort to promote and examine the impact of increasing transparency in care by inviting patients to read and contribute to their medical records.

Jan Walker, RN, MBA
Thursday, March 6

Jan Walker

Jan Walker, RN, MBA, is a member of the research faculty of the Division of General Medicine and Primary Care at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School in Boston. Her primary research interests are in patients’ perspective on care, the use of information technologies to improve their experience, and strategies to reorganize and improve primary care practice.

Ms. Walker formerly served as Vice President for Client Services and Research at the Picker Institute, an organization devoted to measuring patient experiences and incorporating the patient perspective into care. She was the founding Executive Director of the Center for Information Technology Leadership at Partners HealthCare, and also directed national program evaluation for the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship. Educated at the University of Kansas (BSN) and Boston University (MBA), she has a clinical background in nursing. Her publications have focused on patient perspectives on hospital care, interoperability among critical elements of the health system, and patient insights into new electronic technologies. She is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Sheri Fink

Sheri Fink, MD, PhD
Friday, March 7

Sheri Fink is the author of the book, Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital (Crown, 2013). Fink’s reporting has won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Magazine Award, and the Overseas Press Club Lowell Thomas Award, among other journalism prizes. A former relief worker in disaster and conflict zones, Fink received her M.D. and Ph.D. from Stanford University. Her first book, War Hospital: A True Story of Surgery and Survival (PublicAffairs), is about medical professionals under siege during the genocide in Srebrenica, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Charlie Clements, MD
Saturday, March 8

Charlie Clements, MD

Charlie Clements is the Executive Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, an Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy, and also a faculty member of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. Before coming to the Carr Center Dr. Clements career in NGOs focused on advocacy, human rights, and humanitarian assistance.

A full decade of Charlie's life was devoted to the civil war in El Salvador, which he worked in the midst of as a physician from 1982 to 1983. Witness to War, his account of that experience, was published by Bantam in 1984. In that era he co-founded and led the Salvadoran Medical Relief Fund and as well as a Political Action Committee called Pax Americas. He led a number of Congressional fact-finding missions to Central America during the 1980s and was a special guest at the signing of the Peace Accords that ended the war in 1992.

He was also one of the founding board members of Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), which he represented at both the treaty signing and the Nobel Prize ceremonies for the International Campaign to Ban Landmines in 1997.

Charlie spent much of the next decade in a corridor along the Rio Grande River from Brownsville, TX to Hatch, NM assisting low income communities without running water or sewer to construct such badly needed infrastructure.

Following an emergency human rights mission to Iraq only weeks before the current war began, Charlie returned to full-time human rights work as President and CEO of Cambridge-based UUSC, where he served until accepting the position of Executive Director at the Carr Center in 2010.

Charlie has a BSc from the US Air Force Academy, an MSc in Operations Research from UCLA, and an M.D./M.P.H. from the University of Washington School of Medicine and Public Health.

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