Presentations and Panels

Keynote Address

Richard Besser, MD

Richard Besser, MD, is president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), a position he assumed in April 2017. Besser is the former acting director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and ABC News’ former chief health and medical editor.

At RWJF, Besser leads the largest private foundation in the country devoted solely to improving the nation’s health. RWJF’s work is focused on building a comprehensive Culture of Health that provides everyone in America with the opportunity to live the healthiest life possible, regardless of finances, geographic location, race, ethnicity, or physical challenges. Access to healthy food, safe housing, employment, transportation, education, as well as clean air and water, are all important contributors to health and well-being.         

In Besser’s role at ABC News, he provided medical analysis and reports for all ABC News programs and platforms. His weekly health chats on social media reached millions.

Panel Discussions

Panel 1: How can technology support healthy behaviors?


Ritu Agarwal, PhD, Professor, Senior Associate Dean for Research and Director, Center for Health Information and Decision Systems, Robert H. Smith School of Business

Mark Zubrow, MD, Associate Professor and Vice President, Telemedicine, School of Medicine

Panel 2: Health and science literacy for trust-building with the public


Lisa Bress, RDH, MS, Clinical Assistant Professor & Perryville Clinic Coordinator, School of Dentistry

Cynthia Baur, PhD, Endowed Professor and Director, Herschel S. Horowitz Center for Health Literacy, School of Public Health

Panel 3: Do data matter? Informing personal and community decision-making


Panel 4: Widening the lens on the opioid epidemic


Amelia Arria, PhD, Associate Professor and Director, Center on Young Adult Health and Development, School of Public Health

Nicole BrandtPharmD, MBA, BCPP, CGP, FASCP, Professor of Pharmacy Practice and Science & Executive Director, Peter Lamy Center on Drug Therapy and Aging, School of Pharmacy