Geisinger President & CEO to debate the state of healthcare

The pair’s stance that with some resuscitation and healing, the U.S. health care system can recover, will be countered by Robert Pearl, former CEO of Permanente, and Shannon Brownless, celebrated author of Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine is Making Us Sicker and Poorer. Pearl and Brownless will argue that the current state of U.S. healthcare is D.O.A. 

“We need to step back and take a few deep breaths before we lament the so-called health care apocalypse,” said Dr. Feinberg in anticipation of Thursday’s debate. “We the doctors, nurses, support staff, the communities we live in and the patients we serve can all fix the health care system from the inside. We and other likeminded health systems around the country have already committed to higher quality, lower costs and population health efforts aimed at keeping our patients healthy and out of our hospitals.”

The two teams will face-off at the latest debate hosted by Intelligence Squared U.S., and moderated by ABC Nightline News correspondent John Donvan. Streaming live from Rochester, Minnesota, the award-winning debate series will reach over 30 million American households through multi-platform distribution, including radio, television, live streaming, podcasts, interactive digital content and on-demand apps.

The debate will also air afterward as part of the syndicated public radio show and podcast “Intelligence Squared U.S.”

Arguing against the motion:

David T. Feinberg, M.D., MBA is president and chief executive officer of Geisinger, one of the nation’s most innovative health services organizations which includes 13 hospital campuses and a nearly 600,000-member health plan. He is a well-known national speaker, author of numerous articles and practicing psychiatrist. He is co-author of Provencare: How to Deliver Value-Based Healthcare the Geisinger Way, set to be released Oct. 13th.  

Ezekiel J. Emanuel, M.D., Ph.D, is an oncologist and bioethicist and a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and vice provost for Global Initiatives and chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of Prescription for the Future: The Twelve Transformational Practices of Highly Effective Medical Organizations.

Arguing for the motion:

Robert Pearl, M.D., is the former CEO of The Permanente Medical Group (1999-2017), the nation’s largest medical group. He is the author of the bestselling book, Mistreated: Why We Think We’re Getting Good Healthcare—And Why We’re Usually Wrong.

Shannon Brownlee, MSc, is senior vice president of the Lown Institute and a visiting scientist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She co-founded the Right Care Alliance, a network of activist patients, clinicians, and community leaders. Before joining the Lown Institute, in 2013, Brownlee was acting director of the Health Policy Program at the New America Foundation. She is the author of Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine is Making Us Sicker and Poorer, which was named the best economics book of 2007 by the New York Times.

About Geisinger
Geisinger is an integrated health services organization widely recognized for its innovative use of the electronic health record and the development of innovative care delivery models such as ProvenHealth Navigator®, ProvenCare® and ProvenExperience®. As one of the nation’s largest health service organizations, Geisinger serves more than 3 million residents throughout 45 counties in central, south-central and northeast Pennsylvania, and also in southern New Jersey at AtlantiCare, a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient. In 2017, the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine became the newest member of the Geisinger Family. The physician-led system is comprised of approximately 30,000 employees, including nearly 1,600 employed physicians, 13 hospital campuses, two research centers, and a 551,000-member health plan, all of which leverage an estimated $10.5 billion positive impact on the Pennsylvania and New Jersey economies. Geisinger has repeatedly garnered national accolades for integration, quality and service. In addition to fulfilling its patient care mission, Geisinger has a long-standing commitment to medical education, research and community service. For more information, visit, or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

A non-partisan, non-profit organization, Intelligence Squared U.S. was founded in 2006 to address a fundamental problem in America: the extreme polarization of our nation and our politics. Their mission is to restore critical thinking, facts, reason, and civility to American public discourse. The award-winning debate series reaches over 30 million American households through multi-platform distribution, including radio, television, live streaming, podcasts, interactive digital content, and on-demand apps on Roku and Apple TV. With over 140 debates and counting, Intelligence Squared U.S. has encouraged the public to “think twice” on a wide range of provocative topics. Author and ABC News correspondent John Donvan has moderated IQ2US since 2008.

CONTACT: Wendy Wilson, 570-840-0878 
[email protected]

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SOURCE Geisinger Health System

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About the Author: Bob Cooper

Bob Cooper is Canadian Business Tribune''s senior editor. He is also a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist and a bestselling author. He lives in London Ontario and covers the intersection of money, politics and finance. He appears periodically on national television shows and has been published in (among others) The National Post, Politico, The Atlantic, Harper’s,, Vice and He also has served as a journalist and consultant on documentaries for CBC and Global News . In 2014, he was the winner of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers' investigative journalism award, and the winner of the Izzy Award for Journalism from Ithaca College's Park Center for Independent Media. He was also a finalist for UCLA's Gerald R. Loeb Award and Syracuse University's Mirror Award. Before becoming a journalist in 2006, Sirota worked in Washington for, among others, U.S. Rep. Bernie Sanders, the U.S. House Appropriations Committee Minority Staff and the Center for American Progress.