The Zetema Project brings together a highly diverse Panel of approximately 60 healthcare leaders representing all the major healthcare stakeholder groups, as well as a broad array of political perspectives, to debate, discuss, and learn about the most important healthcare issues facing the US.

We are a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the quality and productivity of discussions around healthcare policy and business. Too often these conversations are highly polarized, poorly informed, and dominated by competing special interests. We seek to counter this with enlightened debate and networking opportunities among decision-makers. Our guiding principles are:

  1. Major change is preceded by conversations among influential leaders, and broader and better-informed conversations are likely to lead to better decisions.
  2. People holding conflicting perspectives are more likely to listen to and seriously consider each other’s opinions when they have respectful discourse and existing relationships. 
  3. Diverse stakeholder groups generate more creative, informative, and productive ideas than more homogeneous groups.
  4. People learn best when they are presented with competing perspectives, rather than hearing a single individual opinion.
Zetema Project Stakeholders

We are neutral and non-partisan as an organization, seeing ourselves as conveners of conversations that lead to change, whatever that may look like. Our goal is to create a space where these candid, constructive conversations can occur. We debate all the most important questions in US healthcare. These range from the broad and philosophical (Is healthcare a human right?) to the highly technical (Should pharmaceutical rebates be used to underwrite insurance premiums or be passed directly to the consumer?) and everything in between. Examples of topics we covered in 2021 include:

  • Biosimilars and Generic Drugs
  • Identifying and Reducing Administrative Waste in Healthcare 
  • Provider Burnout: Stressors and Solutions
    • Debaters and Presenters: Ernest Grant, President of the American Nurses Association, Jim Madara, CEO and Executive Vice President of the American Medical Association, and Richard Lu, 2021 Zetema Fellow (MD Harvard)
  • Healthcare Consumer Activation Through Transparency and Economic Incentives
    • Debaters and Presenters: Gail Wilensky, former CMS (HCFA) Director and Senior Fellow at Project HOPE, Anna Sinaiko, Assistant Professor of Health Economics and Policy at Harvard, Soleil Shah, 2021 Zetema Fellow (MD Stanford), and Ginamarie Gianandrea, 2021 Zetema Fellow (MBA Michigan)

Since March of 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these and many other sessions have been held over Zoom in private meetings (usually around 90 minutes) occurring approximately twice per month. Prior to that our model was to host three retreat-style, in-person meetings per year in different cities across the US, each one lasting two to three days. We plan on returning to in-person meetings once we can assure the safety of Panelists, Fellows, and staff, though we will likely continue to meet over Zoom periodically as well.