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Upcoming Events

  • July 25, 2017:
    Employer Benefit Plan Design
  • August 22, 2017:
    The Corporate Role in Community Health
  • September 28, 2017:
    The Alliance Annual Meeting - Breaking Myths in Health Care

Why Attend an Alliance Learning Circle?

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  • You get quality educational content for FREE.
  • You can earn CE credit.
  • It's an opportunity to network with your peers.
  • It's in your area – none of the long-distance travel hassles for a great program!

Reviews from Attendees

  • Your Learning Circles have been invaluable to me.
  • The Alliance always seems to have a pulse on the most timely topics.
  • Your educational events are top notch!
  • This was an amazing program. Very informative and useful. All presenters were awesome.
  • Your learning circles are always fantastic.
  • This was a sensational program. Kudos to The Alliance. I always look forward to your events.

Past Events

Alliance Annual Seminar 2017

Do I or Don't I? Making Hard Decisions in Health Care

May 16, 2017
8 – 11:30 a.m.
The Monona Terrace, Madison, Wis.

8 – 8:30 a.m. Registration & Breakfast | 8:30 – 11:30 Program

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand how effective visual aids can improve care and reduce cost.
  • Illustrate realistic ways of evaluating medical hopes and worries
  • Overview of the OpenNotes initiative and how clinics and hospitals are using it.
  • Real life stories of successful doctor and patient relationships and how open communication helped them avoid or prepare for surgery.


8 – 8:30 a.m. Registration & Breakfast
8:30 – 8:35 a.m. Welcome & Opening Remarks
8:35 – 9:00 a.m. 3rd Annual Health Transformation Awards Ceremony
9:00 – 10:00 a.m. Practical Ways to Facilitate Doctor-Patient Communication
10 – 10:15 a.m. Networking Break
10:15 – 10:45 a.m. The Benefits of OpenNotes – Why Patients and Doctors Need to Be on the Same Page
10:45 – 11:25 a.m. Panel: Exploring The Shared Decision Making Experience
11:25 – 11:30 a.m. Closing Remarks & Adjourn


Erik Rifkin, PhD is an environmental scientist who has over 35 years of experience in characterizing human health and ecological risks from exposure to contaminants in soil, aquatic ecosystems, air and sediments. He has provided assistance and guidance to federal and state regulatory agencies, corporations, NGOs and the public in assessing risks associated with metals and organic pollutants in environmental media. In addition to publishing articles, he is the coauthor of Interpreting Health Benefits and Risks – A Practical Guide to Facilitate Doctor-Patient Communication with Dr. Andrew Lazris.

Andy Lazris, MD is a board certified physician in Internal Medicine. He has practiced both primary care Internal Medicine and Geriatrics for the past 25 years, and is the founder and one of five practitioners of the Personal Physician Care primary care practice in Columbia, MD. He is the coauthor of the book Interpreting Health Benefits and Risks – A Practical Guide to Facilitate Doctor-Patient Communication with Dr. Rifkin.

Catherine M. (Cait) DesRoches, D.Ph., is the Executive Director of OpenNotes at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. She is a distinguished health services researcher with expertise in emerging trends in health care delivery. DesRoches comes to OpenNotes from Mathematica Policy Research, a national firm with extensive expertise in social policy research, where she was a senior fellow studying the use of electronic health records by hospitals and physicians; the effect of health care organizations on physician clinical practice; physician capacity to provide coordinated patient-centered care; and primary care workforce issues.

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Meeting Materials

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Watch the Presentations

Practical Ways to Facilitate Doctor-Patient Communication, Erik Rifkin, PhD and Andy Lazris, MD

The Benefits of OpenNotes, Catherine DesRoches, D.Ph

Exploring the Shared Decision Making Experience, Panel Discussion

Related blog posts

Health Transformation Awards

Find out who is driving change in health care. Nominees are selected by The Alliance board of directors for their outstanding work in moving health care forward. Read about the winners.

3rd Annual Health Transformation Awards Ceremony

Download materials from other past events

Click on the event title for more information and a list of materials available for download.




October 27, 2015 — The Alliance Annual Meeting 2015, featuring James Klein, president of the American Benefits Council


October 22, 2014 — The Alliance Annual Meeting 2014: The Transformation Continues with keynote speaker Dr. Robert Galvin, MD.
May 7, 2014 — The Alliance Annual Seminar 2014: Advance the Transformation with Dr. Reed Tuckson and Harold D. Miller.




October 25, 2011 — The Alliance Annual Meeting
September 20, 2011 — Adding Up the Costs of Diabetes


October 26, 2010 — The Alliance Annual Meeting



October 2, 2008 — The Alliance Annual Meeting

The Alliance® is a cooperative of employers moving health care forward by controlling costs, improving quality, and engaging individuals in their health.