Conference seeks to foster health teamwork

The lineup sounds like a who’s who of health care in Georgia.


Speakers include leaders with the CDC, the Carter Center, nonprofits such as CARE, health care companies, and top research universities in the state.

They are gathering on Monday, Sept. 15, in Atlanta for Health Connect South. It’s a health conference, but its aim is not to be your everyday health conference.

Instead, the creator of the event wants it to serve “as a clear on-ramp for collaboration” among the attendees.

Russ Lipari, an Atlanta health care consultant, says the goal is to foster teamwork on projects between organizations that often operate as “silos,” lacking the interaction with other systems that might be mutually beneficial.

Russ Lipari
Russ Lipari

“We have such a rich diversity of health assets’’ in Georgia, Lipari says. But the typical conference forms around specific health industries – such as hospital officials meeting with other hospital officials, he says.

Health Connect South, says Lipari, will bring people from a diverse array of health industries together. “It’s not more of the same.”

Former President Jimmy Carter will give a video presentation, and the speakers include Dr. David Satcher, a former U.S. surgeon general. Nancy Frates, whose son Pete was the inspiration for the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS funding, will also speak.

Also invited are 100 Georgia university students involved in health studies.

Lipari points to actual successes from Health Connect South’s first planning meeting.

Since then, Emory University and Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta set up a clinical trial together to test a drug for hot flashes in post-menopausal women.

UCB, a global drug company, is partnering with Georgia Tech on epilepsy research, Lipari says.

“We feel September 15th is just the beginning,” he adds.