Past Events

Easing the Burden of Long COVID

Thursday, March 7, 2024

The worst of the COVID pandemic seems to have passed, with infections and deaths having dropped significantly. But for people with long COVID, the pandemic is still a daily reality. Join us for a fascinating discussion about the nature and treatment of long COVID and its impact on our society, featuring Drs. Hector Bonilla and Gopi Shah Goda of Stanford University.


Hector Bonilla, Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, Infectious Diseases and Co-Director of Stanford Post-Acute COVID-19 Syndrome Clinic, Stanford University

Gopi Shah Goda, Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR), Associate Professor of Health Policy (by courtesy) and Professor of Economics (by courtesy), Stanford University

The Cost of Cancer

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Medicine has never had as many effective treatments for cancers, but neither has the cost of these treatments ever been so high. This dilemma was summed up in Vanderbilt University Professor Stacie B. Dusetzina's widely discussed New England Journal of Medicine article as "Your Money or Your Life". Join Dr. Dusetzina and Stanford Professor Alyce Adams for a fascinating discussion of policies that can prevent cancer patients from having to choose between health and bankruptcy.


Stacie B. Dusetzina, Professor Health Policy and Ingram Professor of Cancer Research, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Alyce Adams, Professor of Health Policy, Epidemiology and Population Health and of Pediatrics (by Courtesy), Stanford Medicine

AI and Healthcare

Friday, April 14, 2023

Artificial intelligence is an increasing presence in American life, and its potential applications in health care are endless. Some promise it will soon revolutionize health care, but others think it's overhyped. Looking ahead, how might clinicians and patients negotiate an AI-enabled health care system? Please join two leading experts as they debate and discuss the future of AI in healthcare.  


Bob KocherPartner, Venrock

Sherri RoseProfessor of Health Policy

Reproductive Health: Now What?

Wednesday, November 18, 2022

Health care providers, health policymakers, and millions of American women are grappling with the implications of the U.S. Supreme Court's overturning of Roe vs. Wade. Multiple states have moved to restrict access to abortion, and at least some policymakers have indicated willingness to revisit other reproductive rights precedents, such as those allowing access to contraception.   

This Stanford Health Policy Forum brings two nationally-recognized Stanford-based experts together in conversation to explore the implications of the new landscape as well as to predict what the future might hold.  


Michelle Mello, JD, PhDProfessor of Law and of Health Policy

Leslee Subak, MDProfessor and Chair of Obstetrics & Gynecology

Climate Change: A threat to human health

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Changes to the Earth's temperature and weather are not just a political and economic challenge. They also threaten human health, creating risks for infectious disease spread, unstable food supplies, and deaths from extreme weather events. 


Marshall Burke, PhDAssociate Professor of Earth System Science

Erin Mordecai, PhDAssociate Professor of Biology

Responding to Gun Violence in America

February 4, 2020

Nearly 40,000 Americans die from gunshot wounds each year. Many people despair of ever reducing the public health and safety damage of firearms, but effective, evidence-informed policies are available. Join us as leading experts reveal ways to reduce the prevalence of gun violence and to care for its victims.


Maya Rossin-Slater, Assistant Professor of Medicine (Health Services Research)

Kathy Staats, Clinical Assistant Professor, Emergency Medicine

David Studdert, Professor of Medicine, Primary Care Outcomes Research and of Law

The Future of American Health Care Policy: A Conversation with Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren

October 7, 2019

The national policy landscape around health care is turbulent and confusing, with competing proposals being debated in Congress and in the presidential campaign.  To understand where the nation might and should go in health care policy, please join this candid conversation with U.S. Congresswoman and Stanford alum Zoe Lofgren.  For decades, Lofgren has been a national leader in numerous critical social policy areas, including immigration, technology, and health.  In this conversation, she will analyze the politics and policy of the U.S. health care system, as well as discuss her personal journey from Stanford to Washington, D.C.


Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, Representative of the 19th District of California, US Congress

Suicide in America: Deaths of Despair

February 25, 2019

Suicide is declining in most of the world but is rising in America, particularly in rural and economically struggling parts of the country.  Why do nearly 50,000 Americans a year take their own lives, and what can be done to prevent this tragedy.  Nationally recognized scholars Professor Anne Case of Princeton University and Rebecca Bernert of Stanford University will share their perspectives on suicide and engage with your questions and ideas.


Anne Case, PhD, Professor of Economics and Public Affairs Emeritus, Princeton University

Rebecca Bernert, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (Public Mental Health and Population Sciences), Stanford Medicine

Painkiller: How OxyContin Ignited the Opioid Epidemic

November 2, 2018

Barry Meier was the first journalist to shed a national spotlight on the abuse of OxyContin. He was a member of the New York Times reporting team that won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting. Meier is also a two-time winner of the George Polk Award. His reporting at the Times concentrated on the intersection of business, medicine, and the public's health. During his career, he has exposed the dangers of various drugs and medical products, including a defective heart device and a generation of flawed artificial hips. Meier is the author of A World of Hurt: Fixing Pain Medicine's Biggest Mistake, Missing Man: The American Spy Who Vanished in Iran, and Pain Killer: An Empire of Deceit and the Origin of America's Opioid Epidemic


Barry Meier, New York Times Journalist

A Conversation with Howard Koh, MD, PhD

April 25, 2018

A conversation with Harvard University Professor Howard Koh, MD, MPH, one of the leading health policy thinkers in the United States. Dr. Koh discusses his service as a State Commissioner of Health and as Assistant Secretary of Health in the Obama Administration, with a special focus on his work combating tobacco and opioid addiction and reducing health disparities. He also shares his perspective on the current state of the U.S. health care system and where it needs to reform.


Howard Koh, Harvey V. Fineberg Professor of the Practice of Public Health Leadership, Harvard University

How far should scientists go with data sharing? A debate about Open Science

September 13, 2017

Scientists are facing increasing calls to be more transparent with their methods, study results and data. Advocates of open science believe that more broadly sharing data will improve the application and replicability of research, but critics warn of unintended consequences.  This health policy forum features two distinguished speakers with different views on open science -- please attend and join in on this important debate.


P.J. Devereaux, MD, PhD, PRCP(C), Director of the Division of Cardiology, McMaster University

Nigam H. Shah, MBBS, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine (Biomedical Informatics), Stanford Medicine

Mental Illness: A Global Challenge

November 16, 2016

Mental Illness is a leading cause of disability and mortality around the globe. Even in wealthy countries, only about half of people with mental illness receive adequate care. In low and middle income nations, almost all go untreated by trained mental health professionals. Yet many other healing resources can be activated in low-resource countries, creating opportunities for people with mental illness to be helped and indeed to thrive. This Health Policy Forum engages the enormous challenges and opportunities of global mental health. 


Vikram Patel, PhDCo-Founder, NGO Sangath and the Centre for Global Mental Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Angela Garcia, PhDAssociate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Stanford University


Longevity: The Benefits and Burden of an Aging Society   

April 26, 2016 

Health policy planners throughout the developed world are bracing for large increases in the number of elderly individuals. U.S. life expectancy is now at 79 - a historical high - and unprecedented number of Americans are breezing into their 80s, 90s and beyond. Although this poses challenges for society's health care and social welfare policies, it also presents opportunities. How well people fare in late life and what they have to offer others can be enhanced through their behaviors adn choices, which in turn are shaped by policies, programs and social programs.


Lesley Stahl, Broadcast Journalist, 60 Minutes, Author "Becoming Grandma"

Laura Carstensen, PhD, Founding Director of Psychology, Farleigh S. Dickinson Jr. Professor in Public Policy

E-Cigarettes: A Threat or an Opportunity for Public Health?

October 26, 2015

E-cigarettes are nicotine-delivery products that are becoming extraordinarily popular, particularly among young adults. The current debate in public health is whether e-cigarettes will replace tobacco cigarettes and thereby improve health, or re-normalize smoking, which would be a public health disaster. This forum featured distinguished national health experts with markedly different views on whether e-cigarettes are a threat or a benefit to public health.


David B. Abrams, PhD, Executive Director, The Schroeder Institute for Tobacco Research and Policy Studies. Professor, Department of Health, Behavior and Society, The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Professor of Oncology Georgetown University Medical Center, Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center

Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, PhD, Professor in the Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University

Robert Jackler, MD, Sewall Professor and Chair, Department of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery, Stanford University. Lead Researcher, Stanford Research Into the Impact of Tobacco Advertising

The Problem of Prescription Opioids

April 9, 2015

Prescription opioids provide much needed relief to people in acute pain, but are also widely misused, leading to addiction and over one thousand overdose deaths per month. As the annual number of prescriptions has soared to over 200 million, policymakers have been struggling with how to limit the risks of these medications while at the same time keeping them available for people in pain. In this Stanford Health Policy Forum, addiction medicine expert Anna Lembke, MD and pain medicine expert Sean Mackey, MD, PhD, will debate and discuss how to balance the benefits and costs of prescription opioids.


Anna Lembke, MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford Medicine

Sean Mackey, MD, PhD, Immediate Past-President, American Academy of Pain Medicine; Chief, Division of Pain Medicine, Stanford Medicine

Controlling the Cost of Health Care

October 28, 2014

The United States health care system is a $3 trillion enterprise, the largest in the developed world. Yet Americans often experience more severe access and quality problems, and spend much more for the same procedures and medications, than patients in other countries. Projections of the future cost of health care are unsustainable, yet many well-intended cost-control efforts have been ineffective. This forum features two renowned experts who will discuss the causes of and potential solutions to the extraordinary cost of American health care. Physician, journalist and Stanford alum Elisabeth Rosenthal has drawn national attention to the issue through her widely praised “Paying Till It Hurts” series in the New York Times. She will be joined by Professor Doug Owens, the director of Stanford’s Center for Health Policy and an expert in health care cost-effectiveness research. 


Doug Owens, MD, Henry J. Kaiser, Jr. Professor, and Director of the Center for Health Policy (CHP) in the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) and of the Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research (PCOR) in the Department of Medicine and School of Medicine,  Stanford Medicine

Elisabeth Rosenthal, MD, Writer, New York Times

Ending the Organ Donation Shortage

July 28, 2014

Over 100,000 Americans are currently waiting for a transplant of a kidney or other vital organ. Because the demand outstrips the supply, thousands of people a year die before a suitable organ becomes available. One proposed solution to this problem, put forward most prominently by Dr. Sally Satel, is to compensate people for donating organs. But many ethicists, including Professor David Magnus, have reservations about this approach. While other leaders in the transplant field, such as Tom Mone, have successfuly used other approaches to increase organ donation rates. Would paying people for organ donations be effective and would it be just?  Are there other ways to address the growing shortage of life-saving organs? 


David Magnus, PhD, Thomas A. Raffin Professor of Medicine and Biomedical Ethics, and Professor of Pediatrics, Stanford Medicine

Tom Mone, Chief Executive Officer, OneLegacy

Sally Satel, MD, Lecturer in Psychiatry,  Yale University School of Medicine

Serious Mental Illness: How Can We Promote Public Health and Public Safety?

October 10, 2013

This forum focused on a dialogue concerning what the health care system and the general public can do to promote the well-being of families who are facing mental illness.


Sheriff Leroy Baca, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

Harold Pollack, PhD, Helen Ross Professor, School of Social Service Administration

Laura Roberts, MD, MA, Chairman and Katharine Dexter McCormick and Stanley McCormick Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford Medicine

Health Care in Practice: A Journalist's Perspective

March 20, 2013

This Stanford Health Policy Forum focused on Pam Belluck's new book and her broad array of reporting for the Times on the topics of medicine and health care.


Pam Belluck, Health and Science Writer, The New York Times, Author of Island Practice

Why We Get Fat: Trends and Food Policy

November 27, 2012

This Stanford Health Policy FOrum focused on obesity, along with diet trends and food policy.


Christopher Gardner, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine and Director of Nutrition Studies, Stanford Prevention Research Center

Gary Taubes, Science Journalist, Author and Co-Founder of the Nutrition Science Initiative

The Future of Health Care in America: New Hopes, New Fears

September 14, 2012

This forum focused on the future of health care in America with Ezekiel Emanuel, Chair of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania.


Ezekiel Emanuel, MD, PhD, Diane v.S. Levy and Robert M. Levy University Professor, Vice Provost for Global Initiatives and Chair, Medical Ethics and Health Policy, Perelman School of Medicine and The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania Former Health Policy Advisor to the Director Office of Management and Budget, The White House

The Future of Children's Health in California

June 20, 2011

This forum focused on a dialogue concerning the future of children's health in California.


Christopher Dawes, President and CEO, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital

Diana Dooley, Secretary, California Health and Human Services Agency

Shashank Josi, MD, Assistant Professor in Psychiatry & Behavioral Science - Child Psychiatry, Pediatrics and Education

Paul Wise, MD, MPH, Professor of Child Health and Society, Stanford Medicine