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July 29, 2018 | Tom Ballard

“Health:Further Festival” kicks-off latest edition in less than a month

By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA

What has become a “must attend” event for healthcare innovation kicks-off its 2018 edition on August 27 in Nashville.

The annual “Health:Further Festival” (H:F Festival) is a two and one-half day gathering that is expected to attract 2,000 attendees this year, according to David Shifrin, Community Editor for the Health:Further organization. PYA, the power behind, is a major sponsor along with HCA Healthcare and the Waller law firm.

We took particular note months ago of the fact that this year’s H:F Festival dovetails into Launch Tennessee’s annual “36|86 Entrepreneurship Festival” set for August 29 and 30. Together, they further cast the spotlight on Nashville, as well as the State of Tennessee, and the vibrant entrepreneurial and innovation community that exists.

The H:F Festival opens on the afternoon of the first day with a series of presentations by industry leaders designed to set the stage for the next two days which will feature a series of tracks on a variety of topics. The entire festival is built around a philosophy stated on the webpage that “we believe that all of health’s stakeholders bring something to the table, from practitioners to patients, entrepreneurs to executives. More voices mean more progress.”

Day 1 festivities start at 2:30 p.m. August 27 with a line-up of well-known leaders in the healthcare space. They include R. Milton Johnson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of HCA; Esther Dyson, Executive Founder of Wellville; Marcus Osborne, Vice President for Health and Wellness Transformation at Walmart; Jess Barron, Editor-in-Chief at; Stacey Chang, Founder and Executive Director of the Design Institute for Health at the University of Texas Austin; and Bruce Greenstein, former Chief Technology Officer for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and now Executive Vice President and Chief Innovation and Technology Officer at The LHC Group.

Over the next two days, the Tennessee Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, better known as HIMSS, will hold its “Summit of the Southeast” along with other topic specific tracks scheduled for one of the two days.

“The Clinician Innovation and Entrepreneur Track” is being run Mario Ramirez, our Chief Medical Development Officer,” Shifrin says in relation to Briovation, the umbrella organization that includes H:F. “We need to get the clinicians more involved in innovation, and they will be a majority of the audience.”

Shifrin adds that one goal of the track is to help clinicians who have an innovative idea understand how to get it started. That could include connecting with business savvy entrepreneurs or taking commercializing the idea themselves. Regardless, the concept is moving innovation into the marketplace.

There will also be a track on a rapidly emerging and disruptive technology that is impacting many industry sectors – blockchain. In fact, the daylong “Tokenizing Health Summit” on August 29 will examine the topic closely, but it’s not the only place blockchain will be discussed. Shifrin says there are also sessions included in the HIMSS programming as well as a track organized by the Tennessee Health Financial Management Association.

“We’re seeing a ton of (blockchain) start-ups coming on line,” he noted. “We will be focused particularly on public, permissionless blockchains.” The track is organized in partnership with the Global Blockchain Business Council.

On August 28, the BAD Crypto Podcast team will hold a kick-off party for the track and will do live taping during the programming on August 29.

Another track that Shifrin called-out was “Making It Stick: Designing and Delivering a Better Behavioral Health System” on August 28. Offered in conjunction with the Tennessee Counseling Association, the track “is going to be a really profound conversation,” he believes.

For registration information, click here. To see the complete agenda, click here.

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