* Discovery Lecture Series
* Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering
* Stephen Shortell
* The Commonwealth Fund
* Discovery Park

April 11, 2007

Health-care leaders to speak at Discovery Lecture Series event

Stephen Shortell
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Two national leaders will deliver talks about how to improve the U.S. health-care system on April 23 during the Discovery Lecture Series, organized by the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering, Purdue University and the Lilly Endowment.

The daylong event, in the Purdue Memorial Union North Ballroom, will kick off the Regenstrief Center's annual conference Advancing the Future of Healthcare Delivery: Access, Quality and Responsibility.

Stephen Shortell, dean of the School of Public Health at the University of California at Berkeley, will begin the lecture series with his 1:30 p.m. talk titled "Marriage of Medicine and Management: Sustaining Improvements in Delivery, Quality, Cost and Outcomes."

That will be followed by a 3 p.m. presentation by Karen Davis, president of the New York-based Commonwealth Fund. Her talk is titled "Achieving the Best: The Road to Improving National Performance of Healthcare Delivery."

Alan Rebar
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"Through Purdue's Regenstrief Center, we are bringing this university's core strengths to bear on an issue that affects every citizen in the nation," said Alan Rebar, executive director of Discovery Park. "And this event keeps Regenstrief at the forefront of the discussion on how we can make the world's most advanced health-care system also the most efficient and effective."

Shortell, the Blue Cross of California Distinguished Professor of Health Policy and Management at the University of California at Berkeley, is an expert on organizing the nation's health-delivery systems. He has received the Baxter-Allegiance Prize, considered the highest honor globally in the field of health services research, and has done extensive research on institutional incentives for improving the quality of care, particularly for patients with chronic illness.

Born in Wisconsin and raised in the Midwest, Shortell received his bachelor's degree from Notre Dame, his master's degree in public health from the University of California at Los Angeles and his doctorate in behavioral science from the University of Chicago. He also has held teaching and research positions at Northwestern University, University of Washington and University of Chicago.

Karen Davis
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Davis is a nationally recognized economist with a distinguished career in public policy and research. Before joining the Commonwealth Fund in 1995, she was the first woman to head a U.S. public health service agency when she served as deputy assistant secretary for health policy in the Department of Health and Human Services from 1977-1980.

Elected to the Institute of Medicine in 1975, Davis has served two terms on its governing council from 1986-1990 and 1997-2000. She also has been a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., a visiting lecturer at Harvard University and an assistant professor of economics at Rice University.

The Commonwealth Fund, the nation's fourth-oldest private foundation, is a national philanthropic organization engaged in independent research on health and social policy issues.

Steven Witz
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"Dr. Shortell has established himself as a national expert and academic leader, especially in how the gaps affect the effective delivery of proper care as well as the impact of budget cuts on the system, notably community services," said Regenstrief Center director Steven Witz.

"Dr. Davis has documented the problems facing the nation's health-care system, pointing out inefficiencies that result in poor-quality care and lost value, consumers forced into debt and bankruptcy to pay for medical bills, and above all, the increasing number of Americans who go without the security of health insurance coverage."

The Regenstrief Center's annual conference will continue on April 24. Sessions will feature health-care experts from industry and academia discussing the national issues of equitable access, consumer-driven health care, wellness and prevention, and alternative models for providing care.

Indianapolis-based Regenstrief Foundation in 2005 provided $1 million annually for three years to launch the Regenstrief Center. Since then, Purdue's Regenstrief Center has generated more than $20 million in sponsored research on projects focused on improving the safety and efficiency of patient care; providing more efficient deployment of physicians, nurses and other health-care personnel; and better coordination of inpatient and outpatient treatment.

Every college at Purdue is involved in Regenstrief activities. The center involves liberal arts faculty in areas such as sociology, health communication and kinesiology, as well as Purdue researchers in pharmacy, nursing, health sciences, consumer sciences, technology, agriculture and veterinary medicine.

Discovery Park has grown into a $350 million research hub at Purdue, fostering interdisciplinary research for tackling challenges in fields such as health care, nanotechnology, alternative energy, homeland security, life sciences, cyberinfrastructure, advanced manufacturing, cancer treatment, systems engineering, the environment and innovative learning.

Lilly Endowment provided $1 million for the Discovery Lecture Series to bring prominent speakers to the Purdue campus.

Writer: Phillip Fiorini, (765) 496-3133,

Sources: Alan Rebar, (765) 496-6625,

Steven Witz, (765) 496-8303,

Stephen Shortell, (510) 643-5346,

Karen Davis, (212) 606-3825,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;


Note to Journalists: Journalists interested in interviewing Stephen Shortell and Karen Davis in conjunction with the Discovery Lecture Series can contact Phillip Fiorini, Purdue News Service, at (765) 496-3133, After the two lectures, a media availability session is scheduled with Shortell and Davis at 4 p.m. in the East Main Lounge of the Purdue Memorial Union. Journalists also can arrange to talk with Discovery Park researchers who will meet with Shortell and Davis during their visit. Print and broadcast journalists also can arrange to cover the day's tours of Discovery Park and other laboratories.

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