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Dr. Leana Wen

Physician and Healthcare Executive; Washington Post Health Columnist; Author; Former Health Commissioner, Baltimore; Former President, Planned Parenthood

Dr. Leana Wen is a practicing physician, healthcare executive, and op-ed columnist for The Washington Post. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Dr. Wen has received recognition as one of Governing’s Public Officials of the Year, Modern Healthcare’s Top 50 Physician-Executives, World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders, and TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People.

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Dr. Leana Wen has been one of the nation’s most prominent experts during the COVID-19 pandemic, called upon for her expertise by Congress, state and local governments, and featured daily on CNN, NPR, and PBS. She can speak to what the pandemic revealed about social determinants of health, mental health access, and health preparedness, then cover what major trends are ahead. What does the future look like for digital health and telemedicine? What innovations has the pandemic spurred, from AI to payment reform to behavioral health treatment? And what can be done to address rampant burnout among health professionals?

The stress that people have endured during the pandemic will not vanish after the immediate crisis passes. Dr. Wen brings audiences insights from her work as a practicing physician and expert in addressing mental health and addiction policy. She shares personal experiences, strategies to combat isolation and reestablish connection, and best practices for employee health from around the world. She describes the often hidden epidemic of addiction, including to alcohol and opioids, and the growing need for education and regulation of marijuana and psychedelic usage. Finally, she outlines for audiences a framework for incorporating mental and physical wellness and resiliency practices into the office, home, and everyday life.

Dr. Wen is a leading national expert on health disparities. During the COVID-19 crisis, she was asked to testify twice to the U.S. House of Representatives on the unequal impact of the pandemic on communities of color. While she served as Baltimore’s health commissioner, she reconfigured the agency to specifically focus on health equity and was among the first leaders to declare racism as a public health crisis. She can speak from the lens of current events on how COVID-19 has unmasked existing disparities and specifically focus on innovative solutions that reduce disparities and improve health in the short-term, as well as long-term efforts to address structural inequities.

Women, and women leaders, face distinctive challenges in the workplace. Trained in trauma/ER medicine and having been one of many “firsts” as a woman of color, Dr. Wen speaks from first-hand experience and from her professional research about the challenges and opportunities for women in leadership. These include advice for women about the “double bind” and “glass cliff,” such as owning one’s authentic identity and negotiating societal expectations. Dr. Wen also gives talks in crisis leadership and overcoming adversity. These include lessons from innovative leadership locally and nationally, drawing upon her background convening unlikely stakeholders around shared goals; leading collective impact, public-private collaborations in public health; and getting to points of agreement in turbulent and polarizing environments.

Dr. Wen is a leading national expert on health disparities. During the COVID-19 crisis, she was asked to testify four times to the U.S. House of Representatives on the unequal impact of the pandemic on communities of color. While she served as Baltimore’s health commissioner, she reconfigured the agency to specifically focus on health equity and was among the first leaders to declare racism as a public health crisis. She upon these lessons, outlined in her book Lifelines: A Doctor’s Journey in the Fight for Public Health, and gives specific examples of successful innovations that reduce disparities and improve equity.

Hear the perspective of a practicing physician and Washington Post columnist who is an expert on the digital transformation of healthcare. She will discuss the rise of telemedicine and digital health strategies that have enabled remote patient monitoring and at-home diagnostics and “hospital at home” treatment. She will also delve into the promise and perils of artificial intelligence in medicine, going through use cases of predictive and generative AI to explain how AI can improve diagnosis, personalize treatment, and reduces inefficiencies. And she will delve into potential pitfalls, the need for regulatory guardrails, and why digital fluency is so crucial for the healthcare sector.

Biography

Dr. Leana Wen is a practicing physician, healthcare executive, and op-ed columnist for The Washington Post, where she writes a twice-weekly column on medicine and public health and anchors the Post newsletter, “The Checkup with Dr. Wen.” She is also a professor of health policy and management at George Washington University, a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and a frequently featured on-air commentator, including as a medical analyst for CNN and guest contributor for NPR, PBS, BBC, and MSNBC.

Previously, she served as Baltimore’s Health Commissioner, where she led the nation’s oldest continuously operating health department in the U.S. to fight the opioid epidemic, address disparities and mental health access, and improve maternal and child health. She is author of two books, When Doctors Don’t Listen: How to Avoid Misdiagnoses and Unnecessary Tests and Lifelines: A Doctor’s Journey in the Fight for Public Health, and serves as an independent board member of Glaukos Corporation and UroGen Pharma.

Dr. Wen obtained her medical degree from Washington University School of Medicine and studied health policy at the University of Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. She completed her residency training at Brigham & Women’s Hospital & Massachusetts General Hospital, where she was a clinical fellow at Harvard Medical School.

A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Dr. Wen has received recognition as one of Governing’s Public Officials of the Year, Modern Healthcare’s Top 50 Physician-Executives, World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders, and TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People.

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Leana is one of the best public speakers I’ve seen. She really knows how to use narrative to convey information. Her presentation at the conference were finely crafted, using brief, compelling stories (and some surprising twists) to make serious points without ever losing the audience’s attention. And unlike many speakers, she seems to be truly enjoying herself on stage.

Technology Company

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Having been a trial lawyer, I value communication skills. Dr. Wen delivers powerful messages through her enjoyable presentations. I heard her keynote address—her talk held the room rapt. With an easy conversational tone, she delivered a substantive message subtly, but compellingly.

Law Association

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Dr. Wen is an extraordinary speaker. She is passionate about her work and compassionate with the audience she is addressing. Her knowledge and tone earned her some of the highest audience ratings of any of our conference speakers.

Healthcare Trade Association

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Dr. Wen’s keynote presentation was 'spot-on'. She was incredibly engaging and addressed the most current issues facing healthcare and hospitals. She customized her content to meet the needs of our audience, delivered the current facts and reality of the healthcare landscape, and left our group with light at the end of the tunnel. She understands technology, and delivered her virtual presentation with passion and energy. It was a pleasure to work with her. We would certainly recommend Dr. Wen to our healthcare colleagues.

Regional Hospital Association

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Dr. Leana Wen’s talk was received with enthusiasm by attendees. Attendees commented that she was incredibly engaging and a joy to watch. She was very passionate and sparked similar desire in the listeners. Dr. Wen is such a knowledgeable resource. The attendees expressed how fortunate we were that she made time to share her experiences with us. We greatly appreciated how she tailored her content to the needs of our organization and the theme of the forum. It was a great pleasure to work with Dr. Wen and to have her as our keynote of our event. It will be my honor to invite Dr. Wen to be our keynote speaker at our future events.

Trade Association

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Dr. Wen is empowering in a very unique way—a way that allows her audience to connect to the content of her presentation such that they feel they are part of the presentation themselves. Dr. Wen leaves her audience with an unforgettable perspective to contemplate and relate to their own lives.

Hospital

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Dr. Wen is both an incredibly accomplished physician and a truly engaging public speaker. When she presents, her words are not only insightful and personal, but highly actionable as well. She challenges conventional wisdom and gives her audience simple recommendations to improve their doctor-patient relationships and ultimately their health outcomes.

Corporate Client

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