Stanford Health Policy Forum

Shaping a Better Future for Health Policy

The Stanford Health Policy Forum is an ongoing series of discussions and presentations designed to inform public debate about major health policy issues. All events are free and open to the public.

Upcoming Events

Health Policy Forum: The Cost of Cancer

Date: October 25, 2023

Time: 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Location: Clark Center Auditorium, 318 Discovery Walk, Palo Alto, CA 94304

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.

Space is limited. Refreshments to be served following the forum.

Registration is required.


Stacie B. Dusetzina

Professor Health Policy and Ingram Professor of Cancer Research, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Dr. Dusetzina is a professor in the Department of Health Policy and an Ingram professor of cancer research at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. She is a health services researcher focusing on the intersection between health policy, epidemiology, and economics related to prescription drugs. Dr. Dusetzina’s work has contributed to the evidence base for the role of drug costs on patient access to care and policy changes that might improve patient access to high-priced drugs. 

She has been recognized for her work at a national level, including regularly engaging with the press on the topic of drug pricing and policy, co-authoring a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine report on “Making Medicines Affordable”, and being selected to serve on the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission in 2021.


Alyce Adams

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

Dr. Adams is the inaugural Stanford Medicine Innovation Professor and Professor of Health Policy, Epidemiology and Population Health and of Pediatrics (by Courtesy). She also serves as Associate Chair for Health Equity and Community Engagement for Stanford Health Policy, Associate Director for Health Equity and Community Engagement in the Stanford Cancer Institute, and as Associate Director for Stanford Impact Labs. Focusing on racial and socioeconomic disparities in chronic disease treatment outcomes, Dr. Adams' interdisciplinary research seeks to evaluate the impact of changes in drug coverage policy on access to essential medications, understand the drivers of disparities in treatment adherence among insured populations, and test strategies for maximizing the benefits of treatment outcomes while minimizing harms through informed decision-making. Prior to joining Stanford School of Medicine, Dr. Adams was Associate Director for Health Care Delivery and Policy and a Research Scientist at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research, as well as a Professor at the Bernard J. Tyson Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine. From 2000 to 2008, she was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Population Medicine (formerly Ambulatory Care and Prevention) at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. She received her PhD in Health Policy and an MPP in Social Policy from Harvard University. She is a member of the Board of Directors for AcademyHealth and a former recipient of the John M. Eisenberg Excellence in Mentoring Award from Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.



Paul Costello

Adjunct Lecturer, Primary Care and Population Health, Stanford Medicine

About the Forum


Stanford School of Medicine is committed not only to providing outstanding health care, but also to improving the public policy environment in which the health care system resides.

The Stanford Health Policy Forum is an ongoing series of discussions and presentations designed to inform public debate about major health policy issues. Events in the Forum draw on the wealth of expertise available within Stanford University and the broader Bay Area, as well as in the national and international health policy field.

Frequency & Location

The Stanford Health Policy Forum will be held 2-3 times per academic year. Please be sure to check the website in advance to confirm the time and location. All events are free and open to the public.

Forum Format

The specific format of events varies, comprising panels, debates and interviews of major figures in the health policy world. The one common element is that all events feature significant time for the audience to ask questions of and interact with the speakers. We ask all invited guests to strive for an informal atmosphere that promotes dialogue rather than the giving of formal, extended lectures.

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Past Events

Watch videos of our past forums here.