Editor’s Note

by William McKenzie, Senior Editorial Advisor and Editor of The Catalyst

We can find solutions to health care through models that improve lives

Most likely, many of us have run into the complexities of the modern world of medicine. The care itself might have been very professional, but the system could have been too hard to navigate. Or the costs may have been unclear as well as burdensome.

Whatever the complication, we know the problems. But what are the solutions?

That is the question we explore in this Catalyst. A central aim of this journal is to offer solutions, so we are focusing on health models that improve lives.

We draw upon experts to address this topic in the three ways highlighted below. A common theme in each is the need for robust systems of medical care and the pivotal role of local communities in delivering compassionate aid.

Rebuilding the health care workforce:

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci, former Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, discusses renewing and strengthening the public health workforce.
  • Dan Goldenberg, Executive Director of Call of Duty Endowment, and Mary Moore Hamrick, the Don Evans Family Managing Director of Domestic Policy at the Bush Institute, exchange ideas about how trained veteran health care workers can become licensed medical professionals.
  • Cullum Clark, Director of the Bush Institute-SMU Economic Growth Initiative, details pathways into America’s health care workforce for both native-born and foreign-born students.

Expanding access to care:

  • Dr. Deborah Birx, a Bush Institute Senior Fellow, former White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, and former U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, applies lessons learned from her experiences with COVID-19 and PEPFAR to improve rural health care.
  • Matthew Brogdon, Executive Director of Hesperus and a Stand-To Veteran Leadership Scholar, prescribes ways to expand health care to tribal communities, especially to Native American veterans.
  • Meg Harrell, Chief Program Officer at the Bob Woodruff Foundation, and Colonel Matthew Amidon, former Director of Veteran and Military Families at the Bush Institute, discuss how some psychedelic drugs, when used under proper medical care, could help veterans cope with the invisible wounds of war.
  • Alex Gorsky, the April and Jay Graham Fellow at the Bush Institute and the former Chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson, explains how collaboration between the private and public sectors can resolve significant health care challenges.
  • Robert A. McDonald, the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs and former CEO of Procter & Gamble, addresses period poverty as a key part of improving health care for women.
  • Dr. Eric Goralnick and Dr. Catalina González Marqués, emergency medicine physicians at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and faculty at Harvard Medical School, report on delivering medical care in nations and communities besieged by conflict.
  • Alap Davé, Associate in the Bush Institute-SMU Economic Growth Initiative, analyzes how price transparency, marketplace competition, and a broader medical profession pipeline would improve our health care system.

The PEPFAR model:

  • Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., recalls PEPFAR’s contributions and why Congress should address the gaps that remain in caring for patients with HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Evan Mawarire, a Zimbabwean pastor, democracy activist, and Director of Education at the Renew Democracy Initiative, describes how a nation’s civil society helps PEPFAR impact people’s lives.
  • Dr. William Steiger, the Bush Institute’s Global Health Consultant and former Managing Director of the Secretariat of Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon, explains PEPFAR’s role in stabilizing nations and communities and upholding human rights.

As I close this Editor’s Note, let me say how pleased I am to hand off the baton to Jonathan Tepperman as the new Editor-in-Chief of the Catalyst and a Senior Fellow at the Bush Institute. Jonathan’s expert credentials as the former Managing Editor of Foreign Affairs and former Editor of Foreign Policy will serve this journal of ideas well as he shapes its future.

The author and journalist has the skills and vision to elevate the Catalyst in its mission of applying the principles of compassionate conservatism to modern challenges. I, for one, look forward to reading these pages under his guidance.

Meanwhile, we welcome and appreciate your comments about the interviews and essays in this edition. As always, these pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of the Bush Institute, but they keep with our mission of being a catalyst for ideas and prompting action.

Leave your feedback with The Catalyst editors