National Academy of Medicine

The Richard & Hinda Rosenthal Symposium

2016 Symposium
The 2016 Rosenthal Symposium will explore the topic of “Precision Public Health,” featuring a keynote address by Susan Desmond-Hellman, CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (other speakers to be announced). The event will take place on Tuesday, December 6, at the University of Washington in Seattle. This marks the first time the Rosenthal Symposium has been held outside Washington, DC. Register for the event.

Through the generosity of the Richard & Hinda Rosenthal Foundation, the National Academy of Medicine hosts an annual discussion series to bring greater attention to critical health policy issues facing our country today.

2015 Symposium

quality chasmto errThe 2015 Richard & Hinda Rosenthal Symposium observed the 15th anniversary of the Institute of Medicine’s 1999 report To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System and 2001 report Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century, and also highlighted the most recent IOM report in the Quality Chasm Series, Improving Diagnosis in Health Care. The symposium highlighted the impact of the reports through implementation of recommendations, addressed the shortcomings of and improvements to our current health care system with respect to patient safety and health care quality, and identified future priorities for reducing medical errors and improving quality and efficiency of the U.S. health care system.

More about the 2015 event, including the full agenda, speaker biosketches, video recordings, and photographs is available at

  • 2015 Planning Committee

    Kenneth I. Shine, M.D., (Chair) Past President, Institute of Medicine; and Professor, Dell Medical School

    Linda H. Aiken, Ph.D., FAAN, FRCN, R.N., Claire M. Fagin Professor of Nursing and of Sociology, and Director, Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research, University of Pennsylvania

    Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Veterans Health Administration, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

    Brent C. James, M.D., M.Stat., Chief Quality Officer and Executive Director, Institute for Health Care Delivery Research, Intermountain Healthcare

    Arthur A. Levin, M.P.H., Director, Center for Medical Consumers

    Peter J. Pronovost, M.D., Ph.D., FCCM, Senior Vice President for Patient Safety and Quality, and Director of the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, Johns Hopkins Schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Public Health

    Mark D. Smith, M.D., M.B.A., Founding President, California HealthCare Foundation; and Visiting Professor, University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health

    Paul C. Tang, M.D., M.S., Vice President and Chief Innovation and Technology Officer, Palo Alto Medical Foundation

  • Past Symposia

    2014 Symposium — Antimicrobial Resistance: A Problem Without Borders

    “In a 1945 interview with the New York Times, penicillin’s discoverer Alexander Fleming anticipated the development of drug-resistant bacterial strains. Indeed, penicillin-resistant strains were first isolated from patients in significant numbers a year later, in 1946.” —IOM, 2010

    The 2014 Richard & Hinda Rosenthal Symposium explored the current and future impact of antimicrobial resistance, implications for our nation’s health and that of the world, and obstacles and successes in the development of solutions and steps to mitigate this global public health challenge.

    Program | Videos | Report

    2013 Symposium — Back to The Future of Nursing: A Look Ahead Based on a Landmark IOM Report

    The 2013 Richard & Hinda Rosenthal Symposium celebrated the three-year anniversary of the IOM’s The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health report, which was released on October 5, 2010. The event highlighted the impact of the report through implementation of recommendations at both the national and local level, discussed the continued work of the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, and charted future directions and priorities for the nursing profession.

    Program | Video | Infographic | Photos

    2012 Symposium — End-of-Life Matters: Cultural Representations through the Entertainment Arts

    The 2012 Rosenthal Lecture focused on how the language of the entertainment arts informs our cultural understanding of end-of-life care. Through the screening of clips from the film Beginners and television medical dramas, and a live theatrical performance reading from Sophocles’ Philoctetes, the Rosenthal Lecture panelists  explored the various ways the entertainment arts can provide a platform for an engaging and compelling conversation about the end of life. The panel approached the conversation through the lens of the patient, the family, the provider, and the community.


    2011 Symposium — New Frontiers in Patient Safety

    More than 10 years ago, the IOM released its landmark report on patient safety, To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System. The 2011 Rosenthal Lecture featured the Honorable Kathleen G. Sebelius, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, who presented the new steps that HHS is taking to improve patient safety. A panel of leaders in patient safety followed to discuss patient safety progress and opportunities.

    Report | Photos

    2010 Symposium — Seeing Alzheimer’s Differently: Changing Images, Changing Visions, Changing Practices

    The 2010 Rosenthal Lecture featured Dr. Cathy Greenblat, Social Documentary Photographer and Professor Emerita, Rutgers University. The lecture accompanied an exhibit sponsored by Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences. In the exhibit, Love, Loss and Laughter: Seeing Alzheimer’s Differently, photographer and sociologist Cathy Greenblat challenges stereotypes of the aged, the infirm, and those in the last stages of life. She offers a new vision of Alzheimer’s care, documenting the person-centered approach in the United States, France, India, and Japan. Greenblat’s photographs are a unique, compassionate, and positive portrayal of those with Alzheimer’s disease, a condition that often evokes fear and despair.

    2009 Symposium — The Problem of Health Care Costs and the Future Financial Viability of the U.S.

    The 2009 Rosenthal Lecture featured David M. Walker, President and CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.

    2008 Symposium — Prospects for Health Reform in 2009 and Beyond

    The 2008 lecture featured Julie Rovner, Health Policy Expert and National Public Radio Correspondent.


    2007 Symposium — Transforming Today’s Health Care Workforce to Meet Tomorrow’s Demands


    2006 Symposium — The Food and Drug Administration — Facing the Regulatory Challenges of the 21st Century

    2005 Symposium — Next Steps Toward Higher Quality Health Care


    2004 Symposium — Perspectives on the Prevention of Childhood Obesity in Children and Youth


    2003 Symposium — Keeping Patients Safe


    2002 Symposium — Fostering Rapid Advances in Health Care

    This lecture was held to discuss findings and recommendations from the IOM report Fostering Rapid Advances in Health Care: Learning from System Demonstrations.

    Audio | Slides | Report

    2001 Symposium — Crossing the Quality Chasm: Findings from a New IOM Report


    2000 Symposium — Exploring Complementary and Alternative Medicine


    1999 Symposium — Measuring Performance in Health Care: Future Challenges

    1998 Symposium — The State-of-the-Art of Measuring Performance in Health Care: Perspective of Providers

    1997 Symposium — The State-of-the-Art of Measuring Performance in Health Care: Perspective of Purchasers

    1996 Symposium — The State-of-the-Art of Measuring Quality: Key Perspectives


For more information, contact Morgan Kanarek at