Sustainable Healthcare

(Photo by Duane Zehr)

By Matt Hawkins
April 16, 2014

Drawing from years as a surgeon and CEO, Bradley alum Dr. James Weinstein ’72 outlined patient-centered changes to improve American healthcare and maintain a sustainable healthcare system.  Weinstein, president and CEO of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health System and the Peggy Y. Thomson Endowed Chair, Evaluative Clinical Sciences at Dartmouth College, gave the 38th McCord Lecture April 15 at Bradley.

His work for sustainable healthcare focuses on providing patients “informed choices” on healthcare decisions. This gives patients more control over their healthcare and saves medical expenses. In addition, networks such as the national High Value Healthcare Collaborative bring together healthcare systems to address community needs.

Community collaboration in cities like Peoria, he said, would create localized solutions to specific healthcare issues and rising costs.

“It’s a great opportunity for the community to come together sooner than later,” Weinstein said. “Bring Caterpillar, the hospital systems and insurance companies together. How do we as a community imagine a sustainable future?”

He compared healthcare thinking to an image of a partially full glass of orange juice in his office. Though this poster often prompts the cliché half-full or half-empty glass conversation, he proposes a different line of thought.

“It’s the wrong glass,” Weinstein said. “When we think about healthcare, we have to think outside the box.”

To think outside the box to control costs and improve care, uncomfortable discussions about touchy subjects will be needed. Communities will need to address social issues such as sexual abuse, teen pregnancy, drug abuse and mental illness.

“We don’t take on social issues in the country because people are afraid to talk about what matters,” Weinstein said. “We’ll solve more problems by talking about these things.”

Sponsored by Illinois Mutual Life Insurance Company, the McCord lecture series features top business leaders discussing the challenges of leading a major enterprise.

“Weinstein not only had a captivating message, but he also fully engaged the audience in his lecture with thought-provoking ideas and calls-to-action,” said Dr. Darrell Radson, Dean of the Foster College of Business. “It was truly an honor to have Weinstein as our McCord lecturer this year.” 

"It is important that Bradley University and the Foster College of Business bring in thought leaders to discuss such important issues to our national and local economy," Radson added.

Illinois Mutual also established the Robert A. McCord Endowed Professorship for Executive Management Development in 1990 to honor the late Robert A. McCord when he retired as Chairman of the Board and CEO of the company.

The professorship, currently held by Dr. Joshua Lewer, recognizes a Bradley faculty member who teaches students in the Foster College of Business with creativity and passion and supports that faculty member’s research and professional activities.