Palo Alto Medical Foundation Newsroom

Danish Leaders to Visit PAMF’s Druker Center for Innovation

Contingent to Explore Successful Aging Ideas

On Wednesday, October 10, 2012, from noon to 5 p.m., the Palo Alto Medical Foundation’s Druker Center for Health Systems Innovation is hosting a delegation of 15 leaders from Denmark who work in diverse capacities to address current challenges in health care, particularly with issues relevant to aging. Attendees include C-level executives and directors from large health systems, universities and private corporations in Denmark.

The focus of the visit is to exchange information and knowledge around challenges related to aging, from the diverse perspectives and approaches of Denmark and the United States.

The population of Denmark is 5.5 million, comparable to the San Francisco Bay Area’s more than six million residents (Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties). Life expectancy for women is 81 years and men 77 years. According to the United States Census Bureau, American life expectancy is only slightly lower: women averaging 80 years and men 75 years.

“We feel that advancing cross-cultural leadership engagement in exchanges of shared knowledge will allow us to broaden the scope of our thinking as we work to address the needs of our fast growing and increasingly vulnerable, older adult population,” said Paul Tang, M.D., vice president and chief innovation and technology officer for PAMF’s Innovation Center.

The event has the endorsement of Liz Kniss, Chair of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. Scott Strickland, Kniss’ Senior Policy Analyst, will kick off the event with a welcome on her behalf.

After a meet-and-greet lunch, there will be a presentation by Mikkel Bülow Skovborg, Research Attaché, Danish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education, who will outline the health care system and focus on care for the elderly in Denmark.

Addressing elder care and aging in the United States will be PAMF’s Paul Tang, M.D, and Albert Chan, M.D., PAMF chief medical information officer, and medical director for the Innovation Center.

The speakers will introduce issues and potential solutions to social isolation among seniors, and then the group will break into teams for a series of workshops, culminating in a panel discussion to share the different perspectives.

Guests for this special gathering also include leaders from the public sector, other hospital systems, senior centers, foundations and nonprofits. 

Local Attendees

  • Scott Strickland, senior policy analyst, Office of Supervisor Liz Kniss, Chair, Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors
  • Cecile Currier, vice president of Community Health Services,  El Camino Hospital
  • Marsha Fong, health services manager,San Mateo County
  • Todd Hansen, chief operating officer,  The Health Trust, and member of the Executive Committee Aging Services Collaborative of Santa Clara County
  • Lisa Hendrickson, chief executive officer, Avenidas Resources and Programs for Positive Aging
  • Peter Cheng, M.D., geriatrician, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Palo Alto
  • Sharon Katz, vice president of Medical Management and Quality, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Burlingame
  • Sangeeta Kopardekar, M.D., geriatrician, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Mountain View
  • Brad Stuart, M.D., chief medical officer, Sutter Care at Home


Danish Contingent

  • Ivan Kjær Lauridsen, head of Health and Assisted Living Technologies, City of Aarhus, Department of Health and Care
  • Allan Christiansen, manager of the Elderly Care Division, Municipality of Faaborg-Midtfyn
  • Michael Bech Petersen, Healthcare Development consultant, Municipality of Faaborg-Midtfyn
  • Sten Dokkedahl, manager of the Health and Disability Division, Municipality of Faaborg-Midtfyn
  • Søren Bæk, Director, new’ish
  • Yves Demazeau, Ph.D.,University of Southern Denmark
  • Kasper Hallenborg, Ph.D., University of Southern Denmark, Maersk Institute
  • Peter Maindal, director, Vendlet
  • Dr. Ulrik Møll, Welfare Denmark
  • Kim Baarsøe, chairman of the board, Welfare Denmark
  • Allan Frikke Hansen, chief operating officer, Welfare Denmark
  • Hope Arezou Azarani, Innovation Center Denmark
  • Susanne Kolle, Innovation Center Denmark


eHealth in Denmark

The Danish health care system offers equal and universal access for all residents. (Denmark has one of the highest taxation levels in the world.) Danes have eagerly embraced mobile health technology. Nearly all – 95 percent – have internet access and 90 percent use the internet in search of health information. Almost half of all citizens that have contacted their physician within the past year have done so digitally. (Source:

All Danish doctors have an electronic patient record system and use electronic communication and transactions extensively. All health care institutions and physicians have access to both the open and the secured Danish Health Data Network.

About PAMF’s Druker Center for Health Systems Innovation

The Druker Center for Health Systems Innovation was launched in August 2010 and inspired by David Druker, M.D., the late CEO of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. As a leader in health systems innovation, the Druker Center acts to catalyze, invent and deploy breakthrough innovations in health and well-being that enables the  Palo Alto Medical Foundation to fulfill its vision as a health partner for the people and communities it serves. The Innovation Center is currently building linkAges, a scalable network to support aging in place with a high quality of life. linkAges is a disruptive innovation that complements traditional systems of healthcare with population-based solutions to well-being.

Learn more on the Innovation Center website and follow PAMF’s Innovation Center on Twitter at @pamfinnovation.

For further information please contact:

Cynthia Greaves, PAMF Public Affairs


Liz Silva, Druker Center for Health Systems Innovation