2019 Mayers Lecture to feature author on American health care issues

Marjorie S. Miller
March 13, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal, editor-in-chief of Kaiser Health News, will present the 22nd Annual Stanley P. Mayers Endowed Lecture, “An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take it Back,” at 6:30 p.m. on April 8 in Ballroom ABC at the Nittany Lion Inn, on Penn State's University Park campus.

The lecture, hosted by the Penn State Department of Health Policy and Administration (HPA), is free and open to the public.

The main message of Rosenthal’s talk, which is based on her book of the same name, focuses on how finance and business have taken the front seat to the healthcare system, often rendering patient health and care an afterthought. 

“I think we have to reverse that,” Rosenthal said. “The whole reason I structured the book the way I did is because I think everyone —  from nurses to patients to physicians and consumers —  can all do something.”

Rosenthal’s book also highlights specific steps people can take to make a change. 

“The health care system in five years is going to be quite different,” Rosenthal said. “You can either be ahead of that change and lead it, or be dragged along kicking and screaming. I think we are past the point of muddling through. For example, if you believe in patient-centered care, see what you can deliver to your community. Not every change takes an act of Congress. I see the people at Penn State and in every community acting as change agents.”

Rosenthal, a trained internal medicine doctor, joined Kaiser Health News in 2016 after 22 years as a correspondent for the New York Times. She is a graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Medical School. 

She is also the author of “Paying Till it Hurts,” a two-year New York Times series that won numerous prizes, and “An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take it Back,” published in 2017. 

“I am really looking forward to being at Penn State and talking about these issues and seeing what people do and how they respond,” Rosenthal said. “I want to them to realize that these issues should make them angry, and to understand the tools they can use to enact change.”

Kaiser Health News is a nonprofit, editorially independent newsroom focused on health and health policy. Its stories appear in a variety of media outlets, including the New York Times and the Washington Post. 

The Mayers Lecture was created in honor of Dr. Stanley P. Mayers Jr., co-founder of Penn State’s undergraduate program in HPA, who retired after a distinguished 26-year career with Penn State. Mayers served as the head of the Department of Health Policy and Administration for nine years and also in roles as associate dean for undergraduate studies and associate dean for academic studies in the College of Health and Human Development. 

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 14, 2019