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A Recap of the 2015 North Texas Healthcare Summit

Inaugural North Texas Healthcare Summit Discusses Regional Opportunities, Challenges

Location, location, location was the theme of the North Texas Commission’s inaugural Healthcare Summit last Thursday. From the first speaker, Elizabeth Sobel Blum of the Dallas Federal Reserve to the closing luncheon keynote with Tony Buettner of Blue Zones, the audience of healthcare professional and regional leaders learned that the zip code we live in may have more to do with our health and wellness than genetics.


The half-day summit opened with a TO THE POINT breakfast sponsored by Fidelity Investments with Blum speaking about why health and healthcare matters to the region’s economy. “Your zip code is a more accurate prediction of your health outcome than your genetic code,” Blum said. Factors affecting this includes access to nutritious food, doctors and the ability to safely walk and exercise outside.


Following Blum, a panel moderated by Bill Hethcock of the Dallas Business Journal and comprised of Dr. Ruben Amarashingham of Parkland Center for Clinical Health, Dr. Ray Tsai of Children’s Health Pediatric Group, Marc Gelinas, Slalom and Matt Zavadsky of MedStar Mobile Healthcare took the stage to discuss innovation and access to healthcare. Location came up once again during Dr. Laura DeFina’s presentation. The President and CEO of The Cooper Institute spoke about health and wellness impacting a person’s ability to lead. “The number one thing a CEO can do to have healthier workers is create a culture of health in the organization,” Dr. DeFina said.


With a rapidly growing population in North Texas, the discussion turned toward population health with Dr. Margaret Balfour of Connections AZ speaking about the cost of mental health and a panel on population health with Sharon Phillips of Parland, Dr. Paul Hain of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, Jonathan Scholl of Texas Health Resources with moderator Kristin Jenkins of the DFW Hospital Council Foundation.


The 2015 North Texas Healthcare Summit closed with a final discussion of location from Tony Buettner, brother of Blue Zones founder Dan Buettner. In his discussion, he shared some of the tips of communities from around the globe known for their longevity. Through their research, they found that the communities with an active lifestyle, access to fresh, nutritious food and senior citizens who view retirement as the next phase in their life live fuller, healthier and happier lives. With a Blue Zones project underway in Fort Worth, Buettner showed that a longer, healthier life is attainable. The 2015 North Texas Healthcare Summit was presented by Slalom, Tenet Health and Texas Health Resources. Fidelity Investments presented the TO THE POINT breakfast. AT&T, the Dallas Business Journal and DFW Airport were premium sponsors. Metroport Cities Partnership was an Event Sponsor. The Summit was hosted in partnership with the DFW Hospital Council Foundation. The event was chaired by Mark Felts of Slalom, Corey Davison of Tenet, David Tesmer of Texas Health Resources and Kristin Jenkins of the DFW Hospital Council Foundation.

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