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NAM to Release Publication on Vital Directions to Improve Nation's Health System: 3/21 Event


As the nation discusses repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, the National Academy of Medicine will release a publication on March 21 that provides a succinct blueprint on how to address challenges to Americans’ health and health care that span beyond debates over insurance coverage.  Part of the NAM’s Vital Directions for Health and Health Care Initiative, the publication was written by the initiative’s steering committee and presents a streamlined framework of eight crosscutting policy directions – consisting of four priority actions and four essential infrastructure needs – to advance American health, health care, and scientific progress. 


Over its 18-month initiative, NAM recruited more than 150 of the nation’s leading experts to conduct a comprehensive national health and health care assessment and examine how to address ongoing challenges and move forward effectively to improve health and health care in the U.S.  The new publication summarizes concisely the most important information from its collection of 19 expert papers and a national symposium and builds upon lessons learned during previous health care reform experiences.  


The NAM will hold a discussion in Washington, D.C. to release the new publication, “Vital Directions for Health and Health Care: Priorities from a National Academy of Medicine Initiative,” and examine how to build a shared vision for progress in health care as policymakers consider major health reform.  The event will be webcast live and feature remarks from the following members of the steering committee:

  • Victor J. Dzau (co-chair), president, National Academy of Medicine
  • Mark McClellan (co-chair), professor and director of the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy, Duke University, and former director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services from 2004 to 2006
  • Sheila Burke, adjunct lecturer in public policy, Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy, Harvard Kennedy School
  • The Honorable Thomas Daschle, former U.S. senator from South Dakota
  • The Honorable Michael O. Leavitt, former governor of Utah and former secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


In addition, the event will include a stakeholder discussion panel featuring:

  • Georges Benjamin, executive director, American Public Health Association
  • Toby Cosgrove, president and chief executive officer, Cleveland Clinic
  • Deborah DiSanzo, general manager, IBM Watson Health
  • Judy Faulkner, chief executive officer, Epic Systems
  • James Madara, chief executive officer and executive vice president, American Medical Association
  • Sally Okun, vice president for advocacy, policy & patient safety, PatientsLikeMe
  • Hemi Tewarson, interim division director, health division, National Governors Association


Join the conversation on Twitter using #NAMVitalDx




Advance copies of Vital Directions for Health and Health Care: Priorities from a National Academy of Medicine Initiative will be available to reporters beginning at noon EDT on Monday, March 20.  The publication is embargoed and not for public release before 2 p.m. EDT Tuesday, March 21.  


The event will take place from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, March 21, at the National Academy of Sciences building, 2101 Constitution Ave., N.W. Washington, D.C.  To receive advance copies of the publication or to register to attend the event, reporters should contact the Office of News and Public Information; tel. 202-334-2138 or e-mail  Those who cannot attend the event in person can watch a live webcast here