City of Richmond Hosts Health Care Symposium

Mayor Jones welcomes dignitaries and college presidents as panelists

 The City of Richmond is hosting the “Framing the Issues and Looking to the Future” Health Care Symposium on November 8-9, 2012, in the city’s downtown. The symposium will focus on the health care delivery system in the city of Richmond, with a goal of engaging the broader community in dialogue about ways to attract and retain health care practitioners to live and work in the city.

“This symposium is an outgrowth of the work of the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Health Policy,” said Mayor Jones. “That Commission highlighted the need for us to identify ways to add to our health care infrastructure in the city of Richmond. With this symposium, we are going to explore ways to encourage physicians to locate practices in the city of Richmond and we are going to consider what incentives we may be able to offer to spur interest in targeted areas of our city.”

"There is a long-standing shortage of minority physicians in the United States and we need more primary care professionals practicing in the most underserved communities," said former U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary and The Sullivan Alliance founder Louis W. Sullivan, MD. "I commend Mayor Jones and his team for their creative approach to solving this urban health challenge. Their successful outcome could become a blueprint for urban communities nationwide."

Scheduled for Thursday, November 8, and Friday, November 9, the Symposium will bring together leaders from the city of Richmond, including government officials, health care practitioners, providers and executives, insurers, academicians, students, and other key stakeholders. Joining the City with support in hosting the event is Cigna. 

“Cigna shares a common goal with the City of Richmond, to help improve health and to foster a strong and vibrant community," said Julia Huggins, president and general manager for Cigna in the MidAtlantic. “We are proud to play a part in bringing together national and local leaders to address the important challenges facing our health care system.”  

On the evening of November 8, a reception will feature remarks from Mayor Dwight C. Jones. Joining Mayor Jones will be Dr. Michael Rao, President, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Dr. Louis Sullivan, Chairman and CEO, The Sullivan Alliance to Transform the Health Professions. The Mayor is also welcoming the presidents of Morehouse School of Medicine, Meharry Medical College, Charles Drew University of Medicine, Northeast Ohio Medical University and Science and Howard University College of Medicine.

Friday’s general session will be a solution-focused process focusing on capacity building for health care practitioners. The sessions will be facilitated by a host of distinguished speakers and moderators. 

Mayor Jones said, “Our overall goal is to improve the health care delivery system in the city. This is utterly important work as we know that the evidence increasingly shows that primary care is associated with improved quality of care and decreased medical costs. We absolutely must address the need for increased access to primary care.”

 This Symposium is part of Mayor Jones’ continued effort to improve the health and well being of city residents. Last year, the City hosted a Communities of Health Forum and the Mayor has also launched several city initiatives, commissions, and task forces focused on health and well-being, including the Pedestrian, Bicycling and Trails Commission; Breast Feeding Commission; Food Policy Task Force; and the recent Healthy Richmond Campaign.

College and university presidents visiting Richmond include:

David M. Carlisle, MD, PhD, President and CEO, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science

Jay Alan Gershen, DDS, PhD, President, Northeast Ohio Medical University

Mark S. Johnson, MD, MPH, Dean, College of Medicine at Howard University

John E. Maupin, Jr. DDS, MBA, President, Morehouse School of Medicine

Wayne J. Riley, MD, MPH, MBA, MACP, President and CEO, Meharry Medical College

For more information about the Health Care Symposium, please contact Keisha Smith at