HIMSS15 keynoters

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 - George W. Bush
George W. Bush, America's 43rd President
Source: whitehouse.gov

As usual, this year's HIMSS Conference & Exhibition offers an impressive list of keynote speakers.

The biggest name this year is 43rd U.S. president George W. Bush. It was Bush who said during his 2004 State of the Union address that he hoped every American would have an electronic medical record within 10 years. He will reflect on his eight years in the Oval Office during his keynote address on April 15. 

When the executive team drafted its list of possible speakers, Bush was at the top of the list, says Karen Malone, HIMSS vice president of meeting services. Since former President Bill Clinton spoke in 2013 and Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke last year, “we knew it was time we had someone who is a Republican leader. Bush made a lot of sense since it was during his administration that EHRs started to become a reality.”

Other keynote speakers include Alexander W. Gourlay, president of Walgreens, and Bruce D. Broussard, president and CEO of Humana. These speakers “align well with what’s going on when you think about healthcare delivery today and patient engagement,” says Malone. Gourlay will discuss Walgreens’ strategic approach to adopting technology to drive the company's vision, purpose and growth. Broussard will discuss how future innovations in healthcare will be demand (consumer)-driven rather than driven by the supply side.

Both of these speakers and their companies are “very much involved in engaging patients more in managing their healthcare and helping the general public be healthier.” Both men will offer their perspective on how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is impacting providers and the role of consumers. “We felt both were extremely timely in light of what’s happened with the ACA.”

Karen DeSalvo, MD, MPH, MSc, acting assistant secretary for health and head of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT speaks at 8:30am on Thursday, April 16. From Meaningful Use to moving to value-based payment systems, DeSalvo has plenty to discuss with this year's audience.