Emory Report
December 15, 2008
Volume 61, Number 15



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December 15
, 2008

Diverse meanings of 2008 election
“It’s 40 years after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. But we really do not know the significance [of Barack Obama’s election] beyond the historical ties,” said associate history professor Leroy Davis.

Davis’ sentiments were expanded on by panelists at Goizueta Business School’s Fall 2008 Diversity Dialogue: A Moment in American History.

“For me, it’s a beacon,” said MBA student Shaun Caldwell. “It provides an opportunity for an African American man to right the wrongs of the picture society tries to paint of African American men.”

While doctoral candidate Brittany Cooper questioned how to negotiate the “post-race” world, assistant political science professor Andra Gillespie warned this culmination of a political struggle “does not mean inequality has gone.”

Gillespie also prompted laughter noting, “For the next 20 years, it’ll be ‘I’m not racist. I voted for Barack Obama’.”

3 steps to change U.S. health care
Transforming America’s health system in three “easy” steps? Emory health care chief Fred Sanfilippo offered provocative solutions for health care reform at the joint Emory/CDC Health Systems Transformation Lecture Series.

The first step is to reform finance and payment by paying for quality, value and efficiency. “Health care in this country is treated as a commodity, not a professional service,” he noted, and there isn’t value commensurate with the spending.

The second step is to provide personalized, predictive care. “We focus on the providers, not the patients,” he said.

And the third step, he said, is to change the old delivery model. “We need to create new specialties that are not now addressed.”

Hart on reform and consolidation
“Reform and consolidation” are the cycles the nation goes through historically every three to four decades, according to Gary Hart, former U.S. senator and candidate for Democratic presidential nominations.
After decades of consolidation, the country is entering a period of reform.

“The expectation is that [Barack] Obama meant change more than [John] McCain,” he said of the presidential election.

Along with the cycles of history, several revolutions are dominating the world, Hart said, listing globalization, information and the erosion of the sovereignty of the nation-state and the transformation of war and conflict.
“Obama has two choices,” Hart concluded. “He can rebuild the 20th century economy or build the 21st century economy.” — Leslie King