Arcadia Hosts National Healthcare Leaders to Discuss Innovations and Changes in the Field

By Caitlin Burns | July 22, 2016

Dr. Anthony V. Coletta presents on Disruptive Innovation at Imploding the Healthcare Paradigm on July 21.

Imploding the Healthcare Paradigm was hosted  by Arcadia’s College of Health Sciences on July 21 and made possible by funding from Gerri Aaron ’14H, who, with her late husband Dan, cofounded the Dan Aaron Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, which has since become part of the Parkinson Council of Philadelphia. The symposium brought together 11 industry leaders to discuss current issues within healthcare and how these can be overcome in the years ahead.

“By improving our understanding of the advancements, challenges, and future of healthcare, our presenters will enable us to introduce students to emerging technology, best practices, and a wider range of professional opportunities,” said Arcadia University President Nicolette DeVille Christensen. “Through these crucial sessions, we will gain the tools to most effectively educate those who will soon serve as healthcare professionals—perhaps at the same institutions and organizations, and maybe even alongside some of the experts who are with us today.”

President and CEO of Lakeland Regional Health Elaine Thompson ’13H, Ph.D., FACHE, moderated the event, while each of the 10 panelists presented brief overviews of their topics before sitting down as a panel. Dr. Anthony V. Coletta, executive vice president and president of facilitated health networks at Independence Blue Cross and president and chief executive officer for Tandigm Health, spoke on the changing workforce that is needed in order to create “disruptive innovation” in healthcare, a term used when an individual or company leads the general market by remodeling a company’s previous system to ensure equal treatment of all consumers.

“Disruptive innovation is going to foster the development of a whole different workforce that needs to understand how the world is changing,” Dr. Coletta said. “There’s a lot of educators that are driving toward trying to build that work force. To me, that’s the work force of the future.”

Dr. Rebecca Craik, dean of Arcadia’s College of Health Sciences, said that the symposium’s goal was to capture an accurate understanding of the changing healthcare landscape and to identify the knowledge and skills required for future healthcare workers to succeed in this remarkably new environment.

“I believe that the information presented will be useful in ensuring that each department’s curriculum is in line with the dramatic changes that are occurring in healthcare,” said Dr. Craik. “I expect that each department will use the discussion to ensure that our health professional students are graduating prepared to participate in the new healthcare climate.”

“I think what should come out of this discussion is who should we be training and how should we be training the future providers for the healthcare system,” said Dr. Michael H. Mittelman, president of Salus University, with which Arcadia established a strategic alliance in 2015. “This also speaks to the importance of collaboration between institutions, so that we’re playing to each other’s strengths.”

Aaron has been an active member of the College of Health Sciences community, and she, her family, and the Aaron Family Foundation helped to found the Dan Aaron Stay Fit Exercise Program at Arcadia University, a program in the Department of Physical Therapy that assists and supports community residents with Parkinson’s Disease and multiple sclerosis. In 2014, Aaron presented an extraordinarily generous gift to be used at the discretion of Dr. Craik, who noted the gift, in addition to funding the symposium, also has been used to promote international interprofessional education for an effort that involves the College of Health Sciences, School of Education, and Department of Psychology in Belize.