Here and abroad, two articles on prevention

Two articles caught my eye today.  The first is on some of the experimental programs coming out of the Affordable Care Act to design effective community prevention.  But since we don’t see a lot of evidence that awareness-raising campaigns can work in and of themselves, new approaches are being tried out.  The article points to distrust of the government, the short-term thinking that results from living in poverty, and easy access to less healthy food as some of the reasons why preventable disease continues to be the leading cause of death in America.

It’s instructive to compare this article to a recent study on the factors leading to maternal mortality in India.  Summarized nicely here, researchers from the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and the University of Aberdeen looked at the success of a recent government program (JSY), a conditional cash-transfer program meant to create incentives for women to go to hospitals to give birth.  What looks like thoughtful qualitative work revealed that “good care” looks different to Indian women than it does in many other cultural contexts.  Moreover, the structural constraints women face are so great that cash incentives are not likely to change maternal mortality rates dramatically: many women don’t have the right to choose when they want to get pregnant and where they will deliver, and one in three women said they couldn’t go to hospitals because there was no one to look after other children at home.

Transform Symposium follow-up

As a follow-up to the previous post, here’s what it’s like to attend a symposium in Second Life at the Mayo Clinic Conference Center:

The audio and video are very clear and I can zoom in to focus on just the screen.  This morning’s session averages ten participants, including staff and volunteers narrating the main points in text chat for those with hearing impairments or who can’t turn on the audio stream.  There is minimal side discussion.

That’s my avatar in the grey sweater and jeans on the left, but real life me is busy in the kitchen and simultaneously enjoying Robert Fabricant’s talk at the symposium.

Update: Unable to attend in person or virtual reality? Main stage videos are being posted within 24 hours at

Attend Mayo Clinic Transform Symposium free online

With a free Second Life account, you can view the main stage presentations from this symposium at no charge.  Full details from the Mayo Clinic:

You are cordially invited to attend sessions of the 5th annual Transform Symposium, sponsored by Mayo Clinic’s Center for Innovation, working to transform how healthcare is delivered and experienced. The sessions are presented at no cost to Second Life residents. The “main stage” sessions will be streamed into the Mayo Clinic Conference Center in Second Life, on Monday and Tuesday, September 10 and 11.
A full schedule and description of the Transform2012 symposium is available at:

The sessions streamed into Second Life are (times are PDT):


6:30 – 8:00 A.M. New Perspectives
John Hockenberry
Alex Jadad, M.D.
Laura Adams
Reed Tuckson, M.D.

11:00am – 12:30 P.M. Elephants in the Room
Michael Wolff
Phillip Satow and John MacPhee

1:00 – 3:15 P.M. Connecting for Change
Innovative Experience – Continuing the
Leslie Koch
Rushika Fernandopulle, M.D.
Adam Darkins, M.D.
Margaret Laws
John Hockenberry


6:30 – 8:15 A.M. Designing Ahead of the Problem
John Hockenberry
Thomas Fisher
Margaret Alrutz
Felice Frankel
Audun Utengen: iSpot Recipient
Robert Fabricant

3:15 – 5:15 P.M. Inspiring Health
J. Paul Neeley
Roni Zeiger, M.D.
Cory Ingram, M.D.: iSpot Recipient
Amy Williams, M.D. / Krisa Ryan
Garrison Keillor
John Hockenberry

See the Web site for biographies on the speakers.

Please stop by and join the conversation about healthcare and how we can help it change.