Dr. Richard Besser: Younger Generations Solving Global Health Care (VIDEO)

[ 0 ] November 28, 2011 |

Watch Dr. Richard Besser at the 2011 Aspen Ideas Festival spend ‘2.5 Minutes With genConnect.’ We connected with the Chief Health and Medical Editor at ABC News.

Click the play button below to watch genConnect CEO Nancy Spears interview Dr. Richard Besser on the efforts of young generations that are making a major difference with global health care:


NANCY SPEARS: Dr. Besser, what do you see is the biggest challenge today in health care on the planet?

DR. RICHARD BESSER: Well, if you look at around the globe, health problems are not distributed evenly. There are incredible challenges around the world and I’m very excited and optimistic about the progress that’s being made around global health. We’ve had a panel here with global health innovators. These are young people who are deciding that they want to make a difference.

There’s this is idealism that is so often viewed as a phase in people’s life– that you go through that and you get on with the real thing. These are people who are are taking their idealism and running with it and making a difference in terms of saving people’s lives. One person who’s collecting discarded cell phones to help create these health networks around the globe that are saving lives.

A woman who is an obstetrician who had gone to a clinic and seen that they didn’t have any light that light. The light was very erratic. There were times that they’d be doing surgery in the power would go off. She and her husband developed a solar powered energy system in a suitcase that they’re using to transform clinics around the world. It’s these innovative ideas is that people or are saying, you know I can really make a difference if I move this forward.

NANCY SPEARS: And those kind of ideas are really what will make the change.


NANCY SPEARS: And so please share with us, what is ABC’s motivation around this? What are you doing to join the cause?

DR. RICHARD BESSER: It’s very exciting. We were very fortunate to receive funds from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to help support our global health coverage. And this has allowed us to travel the globe and bring stories to an American audience that they would normally see. It’s been great. Last week I profiled a doctor, an optometrist in New York who started a program to create businesses for women in poor countries selling reading glasses.

You think, well what’s the big deal? You need reading glasses. Well for someone who’s a tailor, for someone who’s a carpenter, they lose their ability to see up close, they’re out of a job. It’s these kinds of innovations. So we’re telling these stories across all of our platforms and hopefully it will help our viewers engage and see the things they can do to make a difference.

NANCY SPEARS: Well I totally feel your passion around it, and so I know that change will come. And congratulations on all the hard work.

DR. RICHARD BESSER: Thanks so much.Dr. Richard Besser is ABC News’ Chief Health and Medical Editor. Besser has been with ABC since 2009 and appears regularly on “World News with Diane Sawyer,” “Good Morning America” and “Nightline.” Previously he had worked as Director of the Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Besser began working at the CDC in 1991 in the Epidemic Intelligence Service. He then worked at the University of California, San Diego, for five years before returning to the CDC once again.  Besser filled various roles including Epidemiology Section Chief of the Respiratory Diseases Branch, Acting Chief of the Meningitis and Special Pathogens Branch in the National Center for Infectious Disease and  Medical Director of “Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work,” the CDC′s national campaign to promote appropriate antibiotic use.

genConnect is credentialed press at the 2011 Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, Colo., where we are interviewing the premier speakers and attendees at the conference. For more of our video interviews and articles from the Ideas Festival, click here.

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Category: Health, Mind Body Connections, Videos, Views on the News

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About Dr. Richard Besser: Dr. Richard Besser is ABC News’ Chief Health and Medical Editor. Besser has been with ABC since 2009 and appears regularly on “World News with Diane Sawyer,” “Good Morning America” and “Nightline.” Previously he had [...]
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