Today, I am attending the Microsoft Government Leaders Forum at the Lansdowne Resort near Washington, D.C. The Forum, now in its 12th year, is an opportunity for elected officials, government executives, and other distinguished people to come together and share ideas on how information technology can foster innovation and improve productivity across the Americas. Several hundred leaders are here representing countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.
This morning, Hernán Rincón , President of Microsoft Latin America, and Microsoft’s Chief Research and Strategy Officer, Craig Mundie, kicked off the 2-day event. Following Mr. Mundie’s introductory comments, the audience welcomed the 42nd President of the United States, Bill Clinton. Mr. Clinton had just flown in from the Middle East. I know he must have been exhausted from the long flight, but from the moment he began to speak, he had the audience hanging on every word. Always the statesman, Mr. Clinton inspired us with first-hand accounts and historical perspectives concerning the human quest for knowledge, our spirit for innovation, and examples of the many people throughout history, both famous and unknown, who have made significant contributions to our understanding of science, technology, and medicine.
This afternoon, I had the honor of addressing the audience during the Forum’s health session. I also facilitated a panel discussion consisting of our keynote presenter Mr. Fernando Barrios, President of EsSalud, Peru and additional panelists André Almeida, CIO, Health Secretary, São Paulo State, Brazil; Antonio Hernandez, Regional Advisor, Pan American Health Organization; Dr. Sergio A. König, Health Advisor, Latin America; and Carlos Jorge Rodriguez, Vice Minister of Heath, Colombia. If there was a theme that emerged from our panel, it was that information technology is driving greater transparency across all of healthcare including not only patient care delivery and payment systems, but the cost and quality of care. We also discussed how information technology and powerful communication and collaboration solutions are opening avenues to help us deliver health information and medical services in entirely new ways. Special thanks to my colleague, Jose Miguel Calderon Carpio (standing to my left) who manages our health business in Latin America for bringing together our distinguished panel for the GLF session on healthcare.
Tomorrow, we will be treated to a very special session featuring none other than Bill Gates. This is Bill’s first appearance at the Forum since leaving his full-time position at Microsoft in order to devote more time to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. With healthcare and education high on his radar, I know the audience is looking forward to hearing from Bill who will no doubt share his insights on the future of information technology and how computers and software innovation can help solve many of the world’s most pressing challenges.
Bill Crounse, MD Senior Director, Worldwide Health Microsoft Corporation