Monday, March 5, 2018
8:30 am - 9:45 am - Bayshore Ballroom

Keynote Conversation

A Conversation with Vivek Murthy: A Vision for Moving Health Care in the United States Toward a "Prevention-Based Society"
Vivek Murthy, MD, 19th Surgeon General of the United States; David Shern, PhD, Moderator

About the Presenters

Vivek Murthy, MD, 19th Surgeon General of the United States
murthyDr. Vivek Murthy served as the 19th Surgeon General of the United States, from December 2014 to April 2017. As The Nation’s Doctor, he brought both passion and innovation to the challenges of leading America’s national healthcare initiatives. Throughout his career, Dr. Murthy has led the way in medical education, social action, and healthcare dialogue. He has co-founded several healthcare community organizations and grassroots citizen movements, including Visions, a peer-to-peer HIV/AIDS education program in India and the United States that reached tens of thousands of students and Swasthya, a community health partnership that trained women in small villages in India to become healthcare providers and educators. He also co-founded TrialNetworks, a software company that developed collaborative technology for accelerating clinical trials, and the nonprofit organization Doctors for America, that organized physicians in all 50 states to advocate for high quality, affordable healthcare for all.

As the Surgeon General, he issued the first Surgeon General’s Report on Substance Use and Addiction, calling the nation to action to address this deadly disease. He launched the national TurnTheTide campaign to address the opioid crisis, and he was the first Surgeon General to issue a letter to health professionals across America calling them to action to reduce opioid addiction and overdose deaths. His final Surgeon General’s Report was on E-cigarettes and Youth and was the first federal report on the topic. As Vice Admiral of the Public Health Commissioned Corps, Dr. Murthy was the youngest active duty flag officer in federal uniformed service.

Dr. Murthy brings a unique, nonpartisan perspective and deep experience to the debate about healthcare reform. He understands the concerns of all the stakeholders, how the system works, and how it could work better. Dr. Murthy emphasizes emotional wellbeing as the unexpected key to a healthier and stronger America. He talks about the science behind emotional wellbeing and its implications for the addiction crisis in America, chronic disease, community violence, education, creativity, workplace productivity, and educational outcomes.

Before serving as Surgeon General, Dr. Murthy practiced and taught internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. In addition to his medical degree, he also has an MBA from Yale University.

David L. Shern, PhD 
shernDr. David Shern served as the President and CEO of Mental Health America (MHA), formerly the National Mental Health Association, from 2006 to 2012, and on an interim basis in 2014 following the departure of his successor. MHA is the country’s oldest advocacy organization addressing all aspects of mental health and mental illness. After leaving MHA, Dr. Shern joined the staff of the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors as a Senior Public Health Advisor. He also has an appointment in the Department of Mental Health at the Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Prior to joining MHA, Dr. Shern served as dean of the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute (FMHI) at the University of South Florida, one of the largest research and training institutes in behavioral health services in the United States. He also founded and directed the National Center for the Study of Issues in Public Mental Health, a National Institute of Mental Health-funded advanced services research center, located in the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH).

Dr. Shern’s work has spanned a variety of mental health services research topics including epidemiological studies of the need for community services; the effects of differing organizational, financing, and service delivery strategies on continuity of care and client outcome; and the use of alternative service delivery strategies such as peer counseling and self-help on the outcomes of care. Since assuming the leadership of MHA, Dr. Shern has focused on the role of mental health promotion and mental illness prevention as fundamental to population health – an interest that he continues to vigorously pursue.

In 2006, Dr. Shern received the Carl Taube Award from the American Public Health Association in recognition for his career contributions to mental health services research.

Dr. Shern received his Bachelor of Science, Master’s degree, and Doctorate degree in Psychology from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

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