Vital Signs graphic

The third and final event in the invigorating 2015 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Vital Signs Health Care Forum Series, “What Is Health Care Consumerism?,” takes place on Nov. 2 in Pittsburgh at the Heinz History Center from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The session is free, but registration is required.

The session will examine choice and control in health care: What are our rights and responsibilities as health care consumers — patients, health plan members and caregivers — navigating a complex system?

You can look forward to a lively discussion, moderated by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette executive editor David Shribman, among the distinguished panelists below. Audience questions are encouraged — you can submit questions when you register, in person at the event or via Twitter at #PGHealthToday.

Highmark Inc. is proud to sponsor the series for the second year in a row. Check out highlights from the sessions and related content on these topics on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Vital Signs page, and under the Health Care Forum Series tag here on the Highmark blog.

David Meyers, MD
Family physician and director of the Center for Primary Care, Prevention, and Clinical Partnerships at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, part of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Explores how to improve health care safety and quality, with a focus on patient-centered primary care. Previously directed the Center’s Practice-Based Research Network initiatives, served as a Medical Officer for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and as a Project Officer for AHRQ’s Health Information Technology Portfolio. Has also practiced family medicine, including maternity care, in a community health center.

Meg Gaines, JD
Clinical Professor of Law, and co-founder/director of The Center for Patient Partnerships at the University of Wisconsin, which trains students to provide advocacy to cancer patients. Cancer survivor and patient advocate, committed to elevating patient voices in exam rooms, board rooms and the halls of Congress. Also on the faculty of the National Criminal Defense College in Georgia and the New York State Defender’s Association.

Maura George, MD
Professor at Emory University and founder of the Social Medicine program at Grady Memorial Hospital, with research focused on social determinants of health, ethical obligations of physicians, and patient advocacy to improve care and optimize the use of hospital resources. Projects include a chart analysis to identify patients admitted to Grady with high frequency and intervene to improve their care and optimize use of hospital resources. Also chair of the Grady Ethics Committee.

Abigail Neely, PhD
Assistant professor of Geography at Dartmouth College and political ecologist studying relationships between the material world (microbes, crops and economies) and the way people understand that world (as mitigated through institutions, culture and experience). Conducts ethnographic research in rural South Africa focusing on who and what changes health, and how an understanding of both material and symbolic impacts could change how we think about health programs.