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On January 28, 2021, THTex welcomed Justin E. Bekelman, MD, Director of the Penn Center for Cancer Care Innovation at the Abramson Cancer Center. Dr. Bekelman is a Professor in the Departments of Radiation Oncology, Medicine, and Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the Perelman School of Medicine, faculty in the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics, and a Senior Fellow at the Penn Center for Precision Medicine and the Leonard Davis Institute for Health Economics, all at the University of Pennsylvania. The event attracted over 90 participants from academia, regional hospitals, the government, and the private sector.

Dr. Bekelman’s described the basis of innovation in cancer care at the University of Pennsylvania’s Abramson Cancer Center and Penn Medicine and demonstrated both successes and lessons learned in implementing clinical transformation in health care in general and in cancer care specifically. The talk focused on the intersection of discipline of innovation and behavioral economics, working with patients, clinicians and organizations to dramatically improve quality and outcomes in cancer care. Dr. Bekelman attributes success at the Penn Center for Cancer Care Innovation to the following: 1) Empowering the team, 2) Reimagining the status quo, 3) Focusing on low-risk, high-yield experiments, 4) Putting safety first, and 5) Listening and adapting. Dr. Bekelman identified methods to improve uptake of state-of-the-art care that can have a significant and lasting impacts on length and quality of life for patients with cancer.