• Systems and Complexity Sciences for Healthcare

    a Conference on the imperative for systems science in the 21st century.

    November 13 & 14, 2014 | Washington, DC

    Register Here

The first International Conference on Systems and Complexity in Health will be co-hosted by Georgetown University Medical Center and the MedStar Institute for Innovation in Washington, DC, on November 13-14, 2014. Anyone with an interest in complexity, health sciences and healthcare is welcome. The focus will be on insights, perspectives and activities with consequences for practice, research and policy in a rapidly changing world. The conference is designed to optimize learning through transdisciplinary discourse and exchange among invited plenaries, oral presentations, panel discussions, poster sessions and informal discussions. The patterns that emerge from the exploration of similarities and differences at the conference will help to frame the imperatives for systems science in 21st century healthcare. Confirmed expert speakers and moderators include: Drs. Howard Federoff, Joachim Sturmberg, Carmel Martin, Fred Hafferty, Kevin FitzGerald, Bruce West, Henry Heng, Mark Smith, Paul Plsek, Andrew Seely and Stewart Mennin.

Conference Chairs

  • federoff

    Dr. Howard Federoff

    Executive Vice President for Health Sciences, Georgetown University Medical Center;
    Executive Dean, School of Medicine, Georgetown University.

    As Executive Vice President for Health Sciences at Georgetown University and Executive Dean of the School of Medicine, Howard Federoff, MD, PhD, oversees a biomedical research organization with $138 million in external research funding in 2005. As EVP, he is responsible for advancing the educational and research missions of Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC), and working effectively with the leadership of MedStar Health, its clinical partner. GUMC comprises a School of Medicine (founded in 1851), a School of Nursing & Health Studies, the Biomedical Graduate Research Organization (BGRO), and Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.
  • Achim Portrait, Nobbies Beach, Newcastle

    Dr. Joachim Sturmberg

    Associate Professor of General Practice, Department of General Practice, The Newcastle University, Newcastle, Australia.

    Dr. Joachim Sturmberg is Conjoint A/Prof of General Practice in the Department of General Practice, The Newcastle University, Newcastle, Australia. He graduated from Lübeck Medical School, Germany, where I also completed his PhD. Since 1989 he works in an urban group practice on the NSW Central Coast, with a particular interest in the ongoing patient-centered care of patients with chronic disease and the elderly. In 1994 he started to pursue systems and complexity research with an inquiry into the effects of continuity of care on the care processes and outcomes. Since then, his research has expanded and includes the areas of understanding the complex notion of health, health care and healthcare reform, showing that health is an interconnected multi-dimensional construct encompassing somatic, psychological, social and semiotic or sense-making domains, that health care has to embrace the patient’s understanding of her health as the basis for effective and efficient care, and that an effective and efficient healthcare system ought to put the patient at the center. He has published extensively on these topics. He is joint editor-in-chief of the Handbook of Systems and Complexity in Health, and joint editor-in-chief of the Forum on Systems and Complexity in Medicine and Healthcare which appears in the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice. Together with Carmel Martin and Jim Price he chairs the Complexity Special Interest Group (SIG) in the World Organization of National Colleges, Academies and Academic Associations of General Practitioners/Family Physicians WONCA.


  • Dr. Kevin T. FitzGerald, SJ

    Dr. David Lauler Chair of Catholic Health Care Ethics in the Center for Clinical Bioethics at Georgetown University
    Associate Professor, Department of Oncology, Georgetown University Medical Center

    Kevin T. FitzGerald, S.J., Ph.D., Ph.D., is the Dr. David Lauler Chair of Catholic Health Care Ethics in the Center for Clinical Bioethics at Georgetown University. He is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Oncology at the Georgetown University Medical Center. He received a Ph.D. in molecular genetics, and a Ph.D. in bioethics, from Georgetown University. His research efforts focus on the investigation of abnormal gene expression in cancer, and on ethical issues in biomedical research. He has published both scientific and ethical articles in peer­reviewed journals, books, and in the popular press.
    Fr. FitzGerald has given presentations nationally and internationally, and often been interviewed by the news media, on such topics as human genomic research cloning, stem cell research, and personalized medicine. He is a founding member of Do No Harm, a member of the ethics committee for the March of Dimes, and a member of the Stem Cell Research Commission for the State of Maryland. In addition, he served until March 2009 as a member of the DHHS Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Genetics, Health, and Society.
  • Dr. Carmel M. Martin

    Associate Professor of Family Medicine, Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Canada
    Dept Public Health Primary Care,Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

    Dr. Carmel Martin is an Australian medical graduate from the University of Queensland, where she completed her Masters in Community Medicine at the London School of Hygiene, University of London and her PhD at the Australian National University. Dr. Carmel’s research in Australia, Canada and Ireland has focused on reforms related to primary health care and chronic care, the nature of health in body, mind, society and the environment and meaning and sense-making about personal health. Her PhD. on the care of chronic illness in general practice, explored the nature of the experience of illness and care associated with multi-morbidity from the perspectives of those afflicted and their general practitioner/primary care physician as the key ‘users’ of care. This PhD led to a wide range of systems based interventions, underpinned by complex adaptive systems theory and social constructionist perspectives in Australia, Canada and Ireland.Dr. Carmel has an extensive experience of health service innovation and service development in Primary Care. A particular focus is to improve chronic illness care around trajectories of illness and wellness using complex systems theory and IT systems. Dr. Carmel also serves as the joint chief editor of the Forum on Systems and Complexity in Medicine and Healthcare in the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice

  • Dr. Frederic W. Hafferty

    Professor of Medical Education and Associate Dean for Professionalism, College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic

    Frederic W. Hafferty is Professor of Medical Education, Associate Dean for Professionalism, College of Medicine, and Associate Director of the Program for Professionalism & Ethics at the Mayo Clinic. He received his undergraduate degree in Social Relations from Harvard in 1969 and his Ph.D. in Medical Sociology from Yale in 1976. He is the author of “Into the Valley: Death and the Socialization of Medical Students” (Yale University Press); “The Changing Medical Profession: An International Perspective” (Oxford University Press), with John McKinlay; and “Sociology and Complexity Science: A New Field of Inquiry” (Springer) with Brian Castellani. Forthcoming books include an edited volume, “The Hidden Curriculum in Health Professions Education” with Joseph O’Donnell (Dartmouth College Press) and “Understanding Professionalism” with Wendy Levinson, Katherine Lucy, and Shiphra Ginsburg (Lange). Recent publications using social network analysis include; Hafferty, F.W., Castellani, B., Hafferty P.K. Medical School Mission Statements as Reflections of Institutional Identity and Educational Purpose: A Social Network Text Analysis. Academic Medicine, 88(6)1652­60, 2013, and Hafferty, F.W., Castellani, B., Hafferty P.K., Pawlina, W. Anatomy and Histology as Socially Networked Learning Environments: Some Preliminary Findings. Academic Medicine 88(9)1315­­23, 2013.
    He is past chair of the Medical Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association and associate editor of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior. He currently sits on the Association of American Medical College’s Council of Academic Societies and the American Board of Medical Specialties standing committee on Ethics and Professionalism. Research focuses on the evolution of medicine’s’ professionalism movement, mapping social networks within medical education, the application of complexity theory to medical training, issues of medical socialization, and disability studies.