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Brainstorm Health: Gun Violence and Public Health, Allergan Patent Smackdown, Hospitals of the Future

February 26, 2018, 7:33 PM UTC

It has been twelve days since the horrific massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and it remains at the center of our national conversation. It is a good thing—and a surprising thing, given the neverendingness of gun violence in this country—that we are still talking about it. But we are, thankfully.

As far as that thanks goes, we ought to offer it directly to the student leaders at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, whose eloquence and passion and sheer bravery continue to stir and amaze a nation. It is their voices, frankly, who are keeping this conversation alive in an utter vacuum of courageous leadership in government.

The fix, of course, seems straightforward, if not quite easy, to many of us: Get rid of these mass-killing machines—or at least control who can get them and when. Australia, as I wrote in this newsletter six days ago (see “How Australia All But Ended Gun Violence”), appears to have managed this feat well…and easily.

But there is, perhaps, a more holistic approach to this very American dysfunction that we ought to examine—and that’s treating gun violence as a public health crisis (which I wrote about in October, sadly, after the Las Vegas assault weapon massacre). At the center of that effort is an extraordinary man named Dr. Garen Wintemute, an ER doc and professor at the University of California, Davis, who directs the university’s Violence Prevention Research Program.

I am excited to say Dr. Wintemute will be coming to this year’s Fortune Brainstorm Health meeting on March 19-20 to engage in what I know will be a powerful conversation on this topic. Joining us will be Dr. Dean Winslow, Professor of Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine, who was selected to lead healthcare at the Pentagon—and whose appointment was held up by the Senate after he dared to talk about the dangers of guns like AR-15s. (I urge you to read his recent op-ed in the Washington Post.)

It’s one of a gazillion conversations at our third annual Fortune Brainstorm Health gathering that I am incredibly eager to have. I expect it to be as inspirational and as solution-filled as it will be thought-provoking and (in all likelihood) infuriating.

I’ll share some more about our amazing lineup of speakers and topics in tomorrow’s newsletter.

In the meantime, if you’re interested in coming, please click on the link here. While the conference is invitation-only (due to its intimate size—sorry), I do encourage you to apply. For me, at any rate, it has been a life-changing event.

The day’s key healthcare stories are below.

Clifton Leaf, Editor in Chief, FORTUNE


The hospitals of the future. The Wall Street Journal is out with an intriguing look at how the business and structure of hospitals is changing—including the shift towards leaner outpatient facilities and digital technologies which could transform the inpatient experience by making it, well, not-so-inpatient. (Wall Street Journal)


Patent court smacks Allergan's Native American gambit. Allergan's controversial move to try and protect a patent on one of its best-selling drugs isn't getting a whole lot of support from the courts. The Botox-maker struck an unusual deal to harbor certain patents with a Native American tribe in northern New York, which would then be licensed back to Allergan in order to protect the intellectual property. But an administrative court just dealt a blow to that strategy by saying it has the authority to determine the validity of those patents. For some background on this case, read this. (Reuters)


The health care C-suite's race problem. Modern Healthcare is out with a report detailing the slow progress on getting minority representation into health care's C-suite. As the publication points out, minority representation among hospital CEOs has barely budged, and the numbers aren't particularly more impressive when it comes to board members, executive leadership, and first- and mid-level managers. (Modern Healthcare)


The Birth of Lagunitas Brewing Dinah Eng

Warren Buffett: Here's How I Would Solve the Trade Problemby Warren Buffett

Trump Tells CPAC: Obamacare Is Being Wiped Outby Kirsten Korosec

Yes, Uber Really Is Killing the Parking Businessby David Z. Morris

Produced by Sy Mukherjee

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