Featured Program

Featured Program

The Lown Conference is unlike any other medical conference. We’re the world’s leading conference on right care because we bring together leaders in clinical medicine and research with patient advocates and policymakers to hear about every aspect of the health care system. People leave the Lown Conference not just informed, but inspired, connected, and engaged with a nationwide movement to make real change in health care.


To see the complete agenda, visit our registration site here.

Tackling corruption in health care

The second day of the conference will emphasize the role of trust and relationships in promoting right care – and discuss the harm that can occur when that trust is corrupted by financial interests.

The conversation will begin with Ralph Weiss, an attorney and patient who will present his own case. After undergoing spinal surgery, he experienced complications, and became involved in patient advocacy when he learned of several conflicts of interest in his care: His surgery involved the off-label use of a device, contrary to an FDA safety warning; his surgeon had financial ties to the manufacturer of the device; and the hospital where he received care had ignored previous complaints about that surgeon failing to disclose relevant conflicts of interest.

After hearing Ralph’s story, a panel of presenters will discuss the different forms of corruption that affected his care and that cause harm to other patients every day. Investigative journalist Jeanne Lenzer will discuss how regulatory capture leads to the approval of unsafe and ineffective drugs and devices, researcher and blogger Roy Poses will talk about hospitals’ financial interests in churning through patients rather than providing integrated care; and health policy professor John Abramson will address the pharmaceutical industry’s corrupting influence on medical research and trial design.


We’re looking forward to a number of exciting keynotes, including:

Jeffrey Sachs, PhD, and Patty Gabow, MD MACP

Jeffrey Sachs, PhD, and Patty Gabow, MD MACP

  • Patty Gabow, MD MACP, former CEO of Denver Health and author of The Lean Prescription: Powerful Medicine for Our Ailing Healthcare System
  • Jeffrey Sachs, PhD, development economist and formerly led work on the UN’s Millennium Development Goals, on the unavoidable connections between poverty and health
  • Charles van der Horst, MD, AIDS researcher and a leader in the Moral Mondays movement in North Carolina, which protested the state’s refusal to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act
  • Sabine Kleinert, MD, Senior Executive Editor of The Lancet and co-author of a Commentary on The Lancet‘s Right Care Series.

For a full list of confirmed speakers, go here.


Research Symposium

We’re thrilled to be bringing original research from around the country to the Lown Conference! Building on the success of our right care research day at the 2016 Conference, we will once again be hosting a Research Symposium on Friday, May 5th. The symposium will feature more than 40 abstracts, with authors from 65 institutions across the US and Canada.

This year’s oral abstract sessions are organized around two themes: Drivers of Overuse and Shared Decision Making.

We’re also bringing back the abstract slams, a favorite from last year’s conference. During the slams, over 30 abstracts will be presented in just 3 minutes each. It’s a great way to get the highlights of a wide variety of research projects in a short time, and the presentations can kick-start conversations during poster sessions later in the day.

Finally, we’ll be giving out awards for the best oral abstract presentations and abstract slam participants!



Workshops are an opportunity to get what you want out of the conference. We’re offering twenty different workshops on a wide variety of topics: from in-depth panel discussions of policy issues, to hands-on interactive clinical skills, to sessions on how to use storytelling in advocacy and organizing.

Here’s the full lineup of workshops for this year:


  • Introduction to Right Care Rounds
  • From Culture to Curriculum: Sustaining the Identity of Health Advocate in Medical Education
  • Tapping into Patient Advocacy: Tips for Peer Support Integration
  • Diving into Deprescription: A Framework for Implementing Medication Rationalization
  • Fostering Patient-Centered and Cost-Effective Health Care through Integration: A Collaborative Approach
  • Collaboration for Right Care: A Cancer Conference Simulation
  • The Community Café: An Innovative Method for Harnessing the Power of Community Engagement
  • Facing Clinical Uncertainty in Primary Care through Collaborative Engagement
  • Bringing Shared Decision-Making into Your Clinical Visit: A Practical Guide
  • Beating the Bias: Tools for Critical Evaluation of Clinical Trials
  • Combating Fake News: How to Assess Health Care Stories and Help Journalists Do a Better Job
  • Listening to People: A Right Care Action Week Story


  • How to Solve Wicked Problems in Health Care through Design Thinking
  • Going beyond Voice – Strategies for Community/Patient Activation and Engagement
  • Taking Action on Overuse: A Framework and Tools for Reducing Medical Overuse
  • Asking, “What Worries You Most?” Encouraging Patient-Centered Care in Time-Limited Environments
  • Resident-led Right Care: A New Cost Containment Initiative
  • Providers for Responsible Ordering
  • Moral Distress Rounds
  • Tackling Health Care Waste is Not a Waste: Lessons from 20 Years at the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative
  • Preventing Over and Under-Diagnosis with Conservative Diagnosis Principles
  • Discover “What Matters” Instead of “What’s the Matter” to Improve the Patient Experience

The Right Care Alliance Congress

On Sunday, May 7, the Right Care Alliance will convene to participate in team- and community-building exercises with other members, strategize within the specialty councils, and plan our advocacy work for the coming year.

During the conference, the Right Care Alliance will also recognize members who have made meaningful contributions over the last year, through their Right Care Action Week programs and leadership activities in councils and local chapters. Read more and submit your nominations for RCA Awards here.

Want more? Check out this video from the 2016 Lown Conference in Chicago:

Ready to dive in? Register now!