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TEDMED Live Coming To Pensacola

Photo via Flickr// Jamais Cascio

A unique public presentation and discussion on health care is coming to Pensacola this week. It features a national brand and a local flavor. This Friday, a series of TED Talks will be shown on the big screen at Blue Wahoos Stadium, along with talks by members of the local health care community for a free, 5 hour presentation called TED Med.

TED Med was founded in 1998 as part of Ted Talks, but soon went dark.  It was revived in 2009 and is now an independently owned and operated annual health and medicine conference. This week’s event in Pensacola is unique. Meghan McCarthy is Director of Community Health and Wellness for Baptist Health Care. She says TED Med is usually licensed to prestigious teaching hospitals who use the conference as continuing education and staff development. "We are the first to say 'we want our whole community to come'."

The day will feature a series of 17 minute long Ted Talks, followed by a local expert on the same topic. And it takes a wide variety of health care topics to get the entire community involved. McCarthy says this year’s TED Med is doing just that. "We have a lot of health care challenges (in our community) and I think the improvements in our health are really going to come from our community coming together to look at changing our culture and having some discussions." She also says they are inviting everyone in the area to come out to the event, not just people who Identify as "health care people".

The day will begin with a Ted Talk about nursing, followed by a local presentation on what’s called MacGyver nursing. That will be followed by Ted Talks and local presentations on dementia, technology and innovation, addiction and food and nutrition. After a lunch break,  It’s another TED Talk, this time with VivekMurthy, the new US Surgeon General. Meghan McCarthy says "we have a new, young, rouge Surgeon General who will be talking at Ted Med in California and then Quint Studer will be following up talking about the Pensacola Dashboard and other things. Then we are gong to end with a community challange."

That challenge is to try and turn Pensacola into a Blue Zone, which are locations around the world with populations who live extraordinarily long lives. That will include a TED Talk with Dan Buettner, the man who wrote the book on Blue Zones.

After that TED Talk, Meghan McCarthy will then talk about challenging Pensacola to become one of those Blue Zones. TED Med is this Friday, from 9am until 2pm and the Blue Wahoos Stadium in Pensacola. The event is free to everyone, but they ask that you preregister at e-Baptisthealthcare.org.

Bob Barrett has been a radio broadcaster since the mid 1970s and has worked at stations from northern New York to south Florida and, oddly, has been able to make a living that way. He began work in public radio in 2001. Over the years he has produced nationally syndicated programs such as The Environment Show and The Health Show for Northeast Public Radio's National Productions.