SAGINAW, MI– Health and health care leaders can start the year with a unique opportunity for relevant insights on proven initiatives and actionable strategies from national experts available right here in the Great Lakes Bay Region. Join the Hospital Council of East Central Michigan, Michigan Health Improvement Alliance, Inc. (MiHIA), Mid-Central Area Health Education Centers (AHEC), and Saginaw Valley State University on Friday, January 26th for the 9th Annual “Region’s Health and Health Care Systems: Communities Achieving Excellence and Accountability” conference from 8:30 am until 1:30 pm at Ott Auditorium on the campus of Saginaw Valley State University. Attendees to this event will be able to participate in ongoing conversations sharing best practices and encouraged dialogue related to health care in the region. There will be emphasis on enhancing the quality, effectiveness, and accountability of care across the continuum to improve the health of the population in the region.

The two keynote speakers will be Dr. Raymond Fabius and Daniel Wolfson. Dr. Fabius is the Co-founder of HealthNEXT and the Principal founder of Ab3Health LLC which provides consulting and implementation services to large and mid-sized employers, health plans, providers and administrators. Dr. Fabius first visited the Great Lakes Bay Region in September 2016 when he spoke with local health and health care leaders to share and discuss “A Practical Approach to Population Health Management”. For his return visit, his presentation will focus on the power of the doctor patient relationship; health care and the need for collaboration: the Triple to Quadruple Aim; population health, cultures of health and the connection between health & wealth.

“Physicians and providers have the opportunity to change the course of people’s lives every day. That impact is largely dependent on a trusting relationship; patients needs to know that as a provider you care about them and are invested in their well-being,” shares Dr. Brenda Coughlin, President/CEO of Great Lakes Bay Health Centers.

Daniel Wolfson is the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the ABIM (American Board of Internal Medicine) Foundation, a not-for profit foundation focused on advancing medical professionalism and physician leadership to improve the health care system. Mr. Wolfson has been instrumental in leading the Choosing Wisely® campaign ( The campaign, which has been actively integrated in physician offices across the region since 2013, promotes conversations between clinicians and patients by helping patients choose care that is supported by evidence, not duplicative of other tests or procedures already received, free from harm, and truly necessary. During his presentation, Mr. Wolfson will address the ideals, purpose, goals, and elements of the Choosing Wisely® initiative, including its contribution to increasing medical professionalism and delineating the role of specialty societies and patient/consumer groups.

“Our healthcare system for too long has been focused on doing things to patients or for patients but not with patients.The provider-patient relationship is at the heart of successful movements towards an interactive, patient-focused, cost effective system where patients are encouraged to be more responsible for their health and health care,” says Dr. Gregg Stefanek, family practice physician at Gratiot Family Practice in Alma, MI. “This conference has the potential to transform your current thought processes and dramatically impact the focus of your organization, making a strong case for why more medical care does not mean better medical care.”

The conference will also include a panel Q&A session moderated by Dr. Catherine Baase, former Chief Health Officer of The Dow Chemical Company and Board Chair of MiHIA. Dr. Scott Flanders, Professor of Internal Medicine at University of Michigan and member of the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, will join keynote speakers, Dr. Raymond Fabius and Daniel Wolfson, as panelists. Lunch will be served immediately following the conference sessions.

For questions, please email: or call (989) 891-8810