In Week Nine, Chautauqua explores health care delivery

Chautauqua Institution wraps up the 2014 season with focus on innovations in health care delivery

Week Nine begins on Saturday, and continues through Sunday, Aug. 24. The morning lectures, “Health Care: From Bench to Bedside,” will take place at 10:45 a.m. from Monday to Friday in the Amphitheater, while the afternoon Interfaith Lecture Series, “From Here to Hereafter:  Facing Destiny with Hope and Courage,” follows at 2 p.m. in the Hall of Philosophy. The morning lecture series is supported by presenting sponsor LECOM, the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine of Erie, Pennsylvania, the nation’s largest medical college and the only academic health center in the osteopathic profession.

Morning Lecture Series

In the second of a three-part series on health care in America, Chautauqua explores innovations throughout the health care delivery experience, from lab bench science to patient care. This week highlights five noteworthy thought leaders.

Leading off the week on Monday is Keith Yamamoto, vice chancellor for research, executive vice dean of the school of medicine, and professor of cellular and molecular pharmacology at the University of California, San Francisco. Throughout his career, Yamamoto’s research has focused on signaling and transcriptional regulation by nuclear receptors; he uses structural, mechanistic and systems approaches to pursue these problems in pure molecules, cells and whole organisms.

Daniel R. Weinberger, Tuesday’s lecturer, became director and CEO of the Lieber Institute for Brain Development in the summer of 2011 after leaving the National Institute of Mental Health, where he was head of the Genes, Cognition and Psychosis Program. He is regarded worldwide as perhaps the preeminent scientist in schizophrenia research. In 2003, Science magazine highlighted his lab’s genetic research as the second-biggest scientific breakthrough of the year, second to the discovery of the origins of the cosmos.

Speaking Wednesday is Scott F. Giberson, the acting United States deputy surgeon general. He supports Acting Surgeon General RADM Boris Lushniak in communicating the best available scientific information to the public. He had operational leadership for a new Corps infrastructure that provides the management of all personnel and readiness systems for over 6,800 Commissioned Corps officers.

Martha Hill, the Thursday lecturer, served as dean of the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing from 2001 until early 2014 and was a member of the faculty since the school was established in 1983. As an educator, she is known for her mentorship of students and junior faculty members; as a researcher, for her investigations in preventing and treating hypertension and its complications, particularly among young, urban African-American men.

Closing the week and Chautauqua’s season is John R. Lumpkin, senior vice president and director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Health Care Group. Previously, he served as director of the Illinois Department of Public Health and participated directly in the health and health care system, first practicing emergency medicine and teaching medical students and residents. He has served on the faculty of the University of Chicago, Northwestern University and University of Illinois at Chicago, and has taught at Princeton University.

Afternoon Interfaith Lecture Series

As one author expressed, avoiding thinking about death does not confer immortality. Death is inevitable and is, indeed, each person’s destiny. Recognizing mortality, often terrifying at first, can provide ultimate meaning for living when faced with acceptance and preparation. In this week we will face destiny with practicality, inspiration, and perhaps joy.

The week begins with Rebecca Brown, a thanatologist who challenges our American discomfort with death by sharing experiences from her work with hospitalized adolescents and young adults who are suffering or dying young.  She is the founder and director of Streetlight, a support program in Florida that partners premedical students with young people who are living with a chronic illness or fear of an early death, creating an experience that is transformational for both the patient and the health care student.

Tuesday’s speaker is Emmanuel Y. Lartey, currently the L. Bevel Jones III Professor of Pastoral Theology, Care and Counseling at Candler School of Theology at Emory University, a position he has held since the fall of 2004. In 1984, he began lecturing in practical theology at Trinity Theological Seminary in Legon, Ghana. From 1989 to 2001 he served as senior lecturer in pastoral studies and practical theology in the Department of Theology at the University of Birmingham, in the U.K.

Eben Alexander, Wednesday’s lecturer, is a renowned academic neurosurgeon who spent more than three decades honing his scientific worldview, thinking he knew how the brain and mind worked. A transcendental Near-Death Experience (NDE), in which he was driven to the brink of death and spent a week deep in coma from an inexplicable brain infection, changed all of that. The best-selling book Proof of Heaven is the result of his experience, a scientist’s case for the afterlife.

Thursday’s lecturer is Hussein Rashid, a contingent faculty member most often affiliated with Hofstra University.  At Hofstra he offers a course called “Life, Death, and Immortality,” which looks at how the Abrahamic traditions approach the questions of the good life and the good death. He also teaches Islamic bioethics, dealing with the question of when life begins and ends.

Rabbi Samuel M. Stahl will bring the week to a close on Friday. Stahl became rabbi emeritus of Temple Beth-El in San Antonio in 2002, after serving for 26 years as its senior rabbi.  Previously, he was a chaplain in the United States Army and the rabbi of Temple B’nai Israel (The Henry Cohen Memorial) in Galveston, Texas. He has served on a number of organizational boards in the Jewish and general communities, both on the local and national levels.

Evening Arts Performances

Setting off lectures and discussions, Chautauqua Institution presents a variety of arts programming to please all ages.

The Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra will give its final two programs of the season Saturday and Tuesday under the baton of Daniel Boico, a candidate to become the orchestra’s permanent music director. World-renowned pianist Alexander Gavrylyuk will join the CSO Saturday for a rendition of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” celebrating the 90th anniversary of its premiere.

Week Nine evening programs also include Dancing Wheels, a professional, physically integrated dance company uniting the talents of dancers both with and without disabilities; “An Evening with Livingston Taylor, Tom Chapin and the Jammin’ Divas” on Wednesday; “Yesterday — The Beatles Tribute” on Thursday; The Orchestra, starring former members of Electric Light Orchestra and ELO Part Il, on Friday; and “Patti Austin Live at Duke’s Place,” featuring The Duke Ellington Orchestra & Patti Austin singing the music of Ella Fitzgerald on Saturday.