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January 30, 2009

A Union of Forces: Convening Diverse Viewpoints to Meet Health Care’s Challenges

By Judy Samson

I work in Mayo Clinic’s Health Policy Center, planning and coordinating the center’s events.


Participants at the 2008 National Symposium on Health Care Reform in Leesburg, VA discuss reform priorities.

Participants at the 2008 National Symposium on Health Care Reform in Leesburg, VA discuss reform priorities.

While the Mayo Clinic Health Policy Center is relatively new — our first event was held in May of 2006 — I think our work really reflects the essence of the Mayo brothers’ intention when they were actively guiding the work of Mayo Clinic. William J. Mayo said, “The best interest of the patient is the only interest to be considered.” He went on to say that in order to meet those needs, “a union of forces” is required, and that concept of joined forces working for the patient good truly guides our policy activities today.


The challenges facing patients and the health care industry today are multi-faceted and complex. We believe that solving one aspect of the problem in isolation cannot have sufficient impact to “fix” health care. For that reason we work hard to serve as a convener; bringing many diverse voices and viewpoints together to learn from each other, discuss options, and reach consensus around solutions. As we reach out through our activities, it is tremendously gratifying to see growing agreement about the principles and recommendations that have emerged from our events.

The principles, or cornerstones as we refer to them, include Creating Value, Coordinated Care, Payment Reform and Health Insurance for All. Each cornerstone includes action steps and strategies as well as Mayo Clinic Health Policy Center plans for moving patient-centered health care reform closer to reality.

Visit the Mayo Clinic Health Policy Center Web site for more information about the Center's activities and recommendations, or e-mail me.

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Tags: Health Policy, Health Policy, Health Policy Center, Health Reform, Healthcare, Healthcare Reform, Mayo Clinic

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