VHA Study Tour hits a home run in Boston

October 4, 2018

Brigham and Women’s Hospital, baseball and Boston Chops are just a few of the highlights from the 2018 VHA Study Tour, which kicked off in Boston, USA last weekend.

VHA CEO Tom Symondson and Director of Policy and Strategy Emma Liepa are leading a group of Victorian health sector executives for two weeks through the USA and Canada to experience and learn from a diverse range of facilities and health professionals, providing opportunities for learning that can be applied within a Victorian health system context.

The first leg of the tour commenced with dinner at Boston Chops, where the tour group were joined by Professor Ian Meredith, Global Chief Medical Officer at Boston Scientific and former Head of Cardiology at Monash Health, who discussed the differences between the US and Australian health systems and challenged the group to think differently about approaching innovative practice.

Day one took in a visit to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement where CEO, Derek Feeley, provided an overview of that organisation’s ambition to improve health and healthcare worldwide. The group visited Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Professor Calum MacRae’s Laboratory and were inspired by innovative thinking in digital health and use of data to improve outcomes. Professor MacRae is the recipient of a $75m grant for One Brave Idea to understand what triggers coronary heart disease long before symptoms occur. The first day also included tours of Massachusetts General Hospital and the incredibly patient-friendly Dana Faber Cancer Institute.

On day two the group spent the morning at Harvard Business School and were fortunate to learn from Dr Tom Feeley and Dr Mona Khalid of the International Consortium for Health Outcomes about their standard global data sets for measuring health outcomes, and also spent time with Professor Michael Porter who joined the group for an inspiring discussion on value-based health care.

‘The opportunity to meet with people of the calibre of Professor Michael Porter and Dr Tom Feeley, among many others is a very unique opportunity. Already at day two our study tour participants have learned so much and are feeling inspired,’ said VHA CEO Tom Symondson.

The next leg of the tour takes the group to Toronto, Canada. Follow the tour on Twitter and Facebook using #vhastudytour18