2016 International Conference on Patient-Centered Care

International Conference on Patient-Centered Care

Join over 1,000 of your peers, patients, caregivers, and healthcare’s world-class experts

At the 2016 Planetree International Conference on Patient-Centered Care! In its 24th year, the longest running conference on patient–centered care will be take place from October 30th – November 2nd at the Downtown Chicago Marriott

Four Days of Personal and Professional Growth
Attending this year’s event will give you access to some of the best learning opportunities in the healthcare industry today.  Big ideas, practical takeaways, key strategies and inspiring thought leadership await you in Chicago!

Patient and Family Voices Will Resound at 2016 Planetree International Conference on Patient-Centered Care

“Ideas can come from anyone and anywhere and can be inspired by any kind of life experience.”  So says President Barack Obama in this clip as he introduces Ramona Pierson, a tech entrepreneur he has hailed as an example of innovation and entrepreneurship.  The life experiences that have inspired Pierson to create a social network dedicated to promoting lifelong learning and connecting knowledge seekers around the world can be traced to her experience as a patient.  She will share how one led to the other as a keynote speaker at the 2016 Planetree International Conference on Patient-Centered Care. 

Pierson will be just one of many patients and family members sharing their stories, their insights and their solutions for creating a more patient-centered healthcare system. 

The event will take place in Chicago, Illinois from October 30 through November2.  In addition to Pierson, patient and caregiver keynote speakers include Alex Sheen, who channeled his grief and memories of his late father into the “because I said I would” social movement and non-profit, and Nancy Frates, whose advocacy for patients with ALS – including her own son – includes creating the ice bucket challenge. See clip to right

For every Pierson, Sheen and Frates who are creating global movements, there are countless patients and family members helping to make change happen at the local level.  The Planetree Conference will serve as a venue for celebrating and sharing their work as well.  Patients and family members will present sessions, participate in panel discussions and be recognized for the instrumental role they play in helping to shape a more patient-centered healthcare system. 

Register here to attend the conference.  (Discounts are available for patient and family advisors who register, with additional discounts provided to those who present).

Proposals are currently being accepted to present 30 minute conference sessions.  Find more information on applying here.

Beyond the Bedside

Beyond the Bedside

Jenny LaBaw & Danielle Cosgrove

Monday, October 31st @ 6:45 PM

Jenny LaBaw is a two-time Reebok CrossFit Games competitor and an accomplished fitness and wellness coach. She also lives with epilepsy.

After childhood meningitis left her with a brain scar, LaBaw was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 8 and suffers from tonic-clonic seizures (formerly known as grand-mal seizures). Fortunately, her seizures are controlled by medication.

In 2012, LaBaw released a video to the public, Jenny LaBaw: Living with Epilepsy, that explains her journey as an elite athlete with epilepsy. The overwhelmingly positive response she received about her video spurred LaBaw to do more. She hopes to inspire other people with epilepsy to follow their dreams.

On September 19, 2015, LaBaw will set out on a 500-mile run across the Colorado Rockies to raise awareness and funds for epilepsy research. LaBaw hopes that her run, which she has named “Move Mountains,” will “not only bring awareness to epilepsy, but also to motivate individuals to take control of their life and live life to the fullest no matter what obstacles they are presented with.” Learn more about her run here.

LaBaw’s beliefs and goals are aligned with the core mission of the Epilepsy Foundation and the message of its Athletes vs Epilepsy initiative. A nationwide program for athletes, coaches, volunteers, and fans, Athletes vs Epilepsy’s goal is to raise awareness, build participation, and help fund the Epilepsy Foundation’s mission.

“We are excited to welcome Jenny as an Athletes vs Epilepsy Ambassador,” said Nichole Manning-Ashe, assistant vice president of development – Athletes vs Epilepsy. “Her passion, drive, and overall spirit make her an amazing role model and leader in raising awareness about epilepsy.”

The Epilepsy Foundation is dedicated to ensuring that people with epilepsy can experience all that life has to offer. Athletes vs Epilepsy affirms this positive message and embodies it through action. The initiative brings epilepsy awareness to different sports thorough participation by athletes of all ages and skill levels as well as their supportive friends, family, and fans.

For more information, visit www.AthletesVsEpilepsy.com.

Danielle Cosgrove - "My chronic illness journey began when in March of 2010, I was involved in an accident which saw my left foot badly crushed. We’re talking bones broken and sticking out, skin ripped off, joint smashed and spun around, stuck on the border of Saudi Arabia with no pain-killers for hours - crushed…

Immediately, it felt as though someone had lowered me into a volcano. That burning feeling [to put it mildly] never went away. In fact, it just got worse, and within a year I was diagnosed with a rare chronic neuro-autoimmune pain disease known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome or Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (CRPS/RSD). If you had never heard of this horrifying condition, well neither had I! There’s a shockingly low awareness level that desperately needs to be remedied. 

I aim to do this through TheProject3x5, an online platform I founded, which puts to work my skills as a human rights advocate and my experience as a patient. In conjunction with technology, TheProject3x5 seeks to empower patients while engaging healthcare systems in an effort to push research and create a community of hope, both locally and abroad. I am the founder of the #OrangeInitiative campaign to "Paint the World Orange" in order to raise awareness, and my chronic illness journey has been chronicled (if you will - I love a good pun) in renowned, diverse outlets that include: VICE Magazine, McCain Blogette, Ramshackle Glam, Facets Magazine, and iHeartRadio’s "America Now". 

So, in short my mission is to advocate, educate, empower, and maybe even inspire those with CRPS/RSD, chronic pain, and nasty little invisible illnesses in general. Follow along at theproject3x5! Join my cause and spread the word. "



Vikram Patel
Vikram's Full Bio

Vikram Patel

Professor and Psychiatrist

Tuesday, November 1st @ 9:00 AM

"If you should speak to anyone affected by a mental illness, the chances are that you will hear stories of hidden suffering, shame, and discrimination in nearly every sector"

Nearly 450 million people are affected by mental illness worldwide. In wealthy nations, just half receive appropriate care, but in developing countries, close to 90 percent go untreated because psychiatrists are in such short supply. Vikram Patel outlines a highly promising approach — training members of communities to give mental health interventions, empowering ordinary people to care for others.

In towns and villages that have few clinics, doctors and nurses, one particular need often gets overlooked: mental health. When there is no psychiatrist, how do people get care when they need it? Vikram Patel studies how to treat conditions like depression and schizophrenia in low-resource communities, and he's come up with a powerful model: training the community to help. Based in Goa for much of the year, Patel is part of a policy group that's developing India's first national mental health policy; he's the co-founder of Sangath, a local NGO dedicated to mental health and family wellbeing. In London, he co-directs the Centre for Global Mental Health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. And he led the efforts to set up the Movement for Global Mental Health, a network that supports mental health care as a basic human right. From Sangath's mission statement: "At the heart of our vision lies the ‘treatment gap’ for mental disorders; the gap between the number of people with a mental disorder and the number who receive care for their mental disorders."

Article in Time Magazine the 100 Most Influential People -Vikram Patel (2015)

How to Treat Depression When Psychiatrists Are Scarce (2013)


Alex Sheen
Alex's Website

Alex Sheen

Founder, social movement
"because I said I would"

Tuesday, November 1st @ 1:30 PM

Alex Sheen’s father died of small cell lung cancer on September 4th, 2012. His father was good with his promises, so Alex titled his father’s eulogy “because I said I would” and created the promise card in his memory. Eventually Alex would decide to resign from his corporate position in order to advance because I said I would‘s mission.

Alex Sheen is the founder of because I said I would, a social movement and nonprofit dedicated to the betterment of humanity through the importance of a promise. Sparked by the loss of his father, Alex sends "promise cards" to anyone anywhere in the world at no cost and honors commitments made to charitable efforts. In less than two years, because I said I would has sent over 250,000 promise cards to over 82 different countries. The promises written on these cards have made headlines around the world. Alex himself is someone who truly honors commitment. He once walked over 240 miles across the entire state of Ohio in 10 days to fulfill a promise. His work has been featured on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, CNN, The Today Show, Good Morning America, NPR, Fox News, The Los Angeles Times, CBS Nightly News, Steve Harvey and many other programs.
Dr. David Agus
David's Website

Dr. David Agus

One of the world’s leading cancer doctors
and pioneering biomedical researchers

Wednesday, November 2nd @ 9:00 AM

"There's no question that the mind-body connection is real, even if we can't quantify it. Hope is one of the greatest weapons we have to fight disease."

Dr. David B. Agus is a professor of medicine and engineering at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine and Viterbi School of Engineering and heads USC’s Westside Cancer Center and the Center for Applied Molecular Medicine. He is one of the world’s leading physicians and the cofounder of two pioneering personalized medicine companies, Navigenics and Applied Proteomics. Over the past twenty-five years he’s received acclaim for his innovations in medicine and contributions to new technologies that will change how all of us maintain optimal health. He’s also built a reputation for having a unique way of looking at the relationship of the human body to health and disease. He explains, “Sometimes you have to go to war to understand peace. My work on the front lines of the cancer war has taught me a lot about all things health related, much of which is surprising and goes against conventional wisdom.” As a contributor to CBS News, he comments on important health topics regularly on television.

Dr. Agus specializes in treating patients with advanced cancer. His clinical responsibilities include the development of clinical trials for new drugs and treatments for cancer, supported by the National Cancer Institute and other private foundations (he has no financial ties to drug companies). He serves leadership roles at the World Economic Forum, among other prestigious organizations. After earning his BA from Princeton University and medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, he completed his medical residency training at Johns Hopkins Hospital, a research fellowship at the National Institutes of Health, and an oncology fellowship at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. His first two books, The End of Illness and A Short Guide to a Long Life, were both New York Times and international bestsellers, with The End of Illness hitting number one on the list.
A Conversation with the  Chief Experience Officer

A Conversation with the
Chief Experience Officer

An interactive panel session that includes
participation from the audience

Wednesday, November 2nd @ 10:00 AM

Chief Experience Officers spend most of their time in the trenches of healthcare, working side by side clinical and non-clinical staff members on every aspect of the patient and family experience.

In this interactive 60-minute panel discussion we’ll hear from Chief Experience Officers from several leading healthcare systems in the US and abroad as they address practical challenges in defining, executing and measuring proven strategies to optimize meaningful patient and family involvement.

Bring your questions, challenges and successes to this engaging dialogue with your peers.

Panel Participants Include:

Lisa Allen, Ph.D. joined Johns Hopkins Medicine (JHM) in September 2014 as the first Chief Patient Experience Officer for the healthcare system and The Johns Hopkins Hospital. In this role she has oversight and responsibility for enhancing and continually improving the overall experience of patients and families throughout JHM by coaching, utilizing best practices and ensuring system collaboration.

Rick Evans is the Senior Vice President and Chief Experience Officer for the NewYork-Presbyterian Healthcare System. In this role, he oversees NYP’s efforts to enhance the patient and family experience across its continuum of care and implementation of a comprehensive strategy to increase patient satisfaction across both NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and its Regional Hospital Network – comprised of nine facilities with over 3,500 beds in and around New York City.

Todd Dunn is the director of innovation for Intermountain Healthcare, and he currently leads the organization’s Healthcare Transformation Lab, where he mentors and works with healthcare start-ups to develop solutions to drive better care and contain costs.

Lynn Skoczelas is the chief experience officer for Sharp HealthCare, a fully integrated health care system in San Diego and home to The Sharp Experience.   As chief experience officer, Lynn is responsible for system-wide leadership strategy, design, engagement and implementation of Sharp’s organizational improvement initiative that aims to transform the health care experience for employees, physicians and patients.  She also provides leadership for The Sharp University, a “corporate university” created to provide leadership development for leaders and physicians and team member engagement. 

Nancy E. Frates
Pete Frates Website

Nancy E. Frates

Mother, ALS Advocate and
Creator of the Ice Bucket Challenge

Wednesday, November 2nd @ 3:00 PM

"If you ever come across a situation that you see as so unacceptable, I want you to dig down as deep as you can and find your best “Mother Bear” and go after it."

On March 13, 2011 Nancy’s 27-year-old son Peter was diagnosed with ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease. Their world changed in a moment. They were told that there is no treatment or cure and the prognosis was two to five years. Since that day, Nancy has immersed herself in the ALS community. Through her education and work experience, she knew that the best way to become knowledgeable and currently informed on the disease was to get to know the players and the institutions that were on the forefront on this disease. In the past three years, Nancy has traveled and networked to the offices of CEO’s, senators, congressmen, top doctors and governmental authorities. She has testified in Washington DC to an FDA panel and has initiated and executed petitions regarding important issues affecting the ALS communities. Nancy has developed strong relationships with executives at both the local and national levels of ALS organizations involved in research, patient support, advocacy and fundraising.

Nancy along with other family members runs the Pete Frates #3 Fund. This fund, started by a group of her family and friends, raises funds to aid Pete in his battle with the disease. After Pete’s diagnosis they learned that as the disease progresses, the average cost for an ALS patient to live with the disease is $280,000 per year. Team Frate Train, as Pete’s supporters are known, have grown over the past couple of years. They have a website, sell Frate Train Gear, and run marquee events for the fund as well as supporting ALS organizations through their events.

In August 2014, Nancy’s son Peter – along with their family and supporters – inspired the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to go viral, raising $220 million for the ALS Association and its global partners. During that August and the months following, Nancy has done many domestic and international television, magazine and website interviews. She has also been speaking at many events both domestically and internationally inspiring others with their story and continuing the momentum created for their cause, ALS.

7,500 Minutes of Learning

7,500 Minutes of Learning

Big ideas, practical takeaways, key strategies, solutions, and inspiring thought leadership await you over the course of 4 days in Chicago! Learn, collaborate, share, and build a network of resources to take back with you, while participating in:

  • Keynote Sessions
  • Solution Breakout Sessions
  • Master Classes
  • Poster Sessions
  • Group Discussions
  • Reactor Panels to Sessions
  • Tours of Award Winning Patient-Centered Hospitals
  • Hands On Activities
  • The Planetree Live Festival!
  • Great Ideas from Around the Globe
  • Wellness Activities
  • The Town Hall (Planetree Exhibit Hall)
  • Patient-Centered Care Excellence and Innovation Awards
860 Thought Leaders

860 Thought Leaders

Who are the 860 thought leaders? They are the informed opinion leaders and the go-to people in the field of patient-centered care. They are trusted sources who move and inspire people with innovative ideas; turn ideas into reality, and know and show how to replicate their success. Simply put, they are our attendees and presenters who are made up of:

  • Patients
  • Caregivers
  • Nurses
  • Physicians
  • Front line Staff
  • Healthcare Executives
  • Industry Analysts
  • Top Business and Healthcare Keynote Speakers
20 Countries Represented

20 Countries Represented

Welcome to the longest running international conference on patient-centered care! Each year we look forward to this unique opportunity to convene the community of patient-centered pioneers and innovators from around the world. We encourage you to come and connect with your global peers and discover fresh innovative approaches to care. After all, it really is a small world when considering our missions are the same: To better the lives of patients, patients' families and loved ones. Our attendees hale from:

  • Australia, Brazil, Canada,
  • Chile, Denmark, Ecuador,
  • France, Germany, Ireland,
  • Italy, Kenya, New Zealand,
  • Nigeria, Singapore, Thailand,
  • The Netherlands, Turkey, United States
  • Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar

1 Great City - Chicago!

1 Great City - Chicago!

Chicago, on Lake Michigan in Illinois, is among the largest cities in the U.S. Famed for its bold architecture, it has a skyline bristling with skyscrapers such as the iconic John Hancock Center, sleek, 1,451-ft. Willis Tower and neo-Gothic Tribune Tower. The city is also renowned for its museums, including the Art Institute and its expansive collections, including noted Impressionist works

Participant Testimonials

Now in its 24th year the International Conference on Patient-Centered Care has educated, inspired, and motivated over 18,000 participants. The energy and enthusiasm for Planetree’s premier event is like none other. Here is what a few of our guests had to say:

  • Reinforces why we are Planetree and solidifies our core values
  • After attending the Planetree Conference your attention shifts – from I can’t to Why not!?
  • The energy and enthusiasm at a Planetree conference is unlike any other. The presentations are compelling, thought-provoking and touch you at the core of why good care is all about the person at its center. I left with valuable takeaways, new relationships, and opportunities to explore potential synergies with several like-minded organizations. I left excited and energized. Congratulations on a job well done!
    Pat Mastors, President, The Patient Voice Institute, Co-Chair, NQF Patient & Family Engagement Action Team, Speaker, Author
  • I felt that the personal growth was as great as the professional growth. It was nice to come back to work renewed not just with work ideas but feeling personally rejuvenated! Thank you!!!!
  • It was an amazing life changing experience for me. Thank you soo much!!!
  • I have had the privilege of speaking at, and attending, healthcare conferences around the world for many years, and Planetree’s 2014 Conference was one of the best organized and most informative gatherings I have experienced.
    Rebecca Costa, 2014 Planetree Conference Keynote Presenter
  • Great to be surrounded by thought leaders who inspire innovation and creativity
  • I loved being a part of the authenticity and warmth, seeking and sharing, challenging and collaborating that happened over those few days – Planetree lives its mission inside and out. Hoping to find some way to weasel my way back in for 2015!
    Alexandra Drane, Planetree 2014 Keynote
  • It was an amazing life changing experience for me. Thank you soo much!!
  • Amazed us that the challenges we are facing are universal – everyone is working on the same issues
  • Mind blowing and a very motivating and positive experience!
  • The caliber of speakers and their content was priceless. The staff was courteous, professional and well-informed. Even with hundreds of moving parts that come part and parcel with putting on a live event, not a single detail was missed.
    Rebecca Costa, 2014 Planetree Conference Keynote Presenter
  • The character of the people drawn to a Planetree conference - those striving for the highest degree of compassionate, patient-centered care- makes for a unique experience.
    Pat Mastors, President, The Patient Voice Institute, Co-Chair, NQF Patient & Family Engagement Action Team, Speaker, Author
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