Opening Lecture

Resilience: Facing a Health Crisis Head On
October 20, 4:30 PM – 6:15 PM

The American College of Rheumatology is pleased to announce that Jonathan Koch, President and CCO of Asylum Entertainment, LLC will be the 2018 ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting Opening Lecturer. The topic of Mr. Koch's speech is Resilience: Facing a Health Crisis Head On.

Jonathan KochWhat factors can predict survival in times of great adversity? Surely, the most important is resilience. In this year’s unique, compelling Opening Lecture, a Hollywood mogul shares his story of resilience in surviving an acute, life-threatening medical crisis and his arduous road to recovery in physical rehabilitation and therapy. Veteran film and television producer Jonathan Koch, President and CCO of Asylum Entertainment, LLC, will focus on the patient’s journey, highlighting how a resilient team of dedicated, skilled health care professionals can work with their patient as partners to triumph over a challenging rare illness. A few years ago, Mr. Koch, a busy executive and dad, rapidly developed a serious illness that led quickly to hospitalization in an intensive care unit. It was a puzzling and rare diagnosis: acute hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis. He faced losing not just his successful business career in the entertainment industry, but his life, and the life yet to be lived with his loved ones.

While Mr. Koch’s initial therapy saved his life, he awoke from a medically induced coma with severe necrosis in his extremities. He required amputation of his hands and feet. In this lecture, he will describe the physical and emotional trauma he endured, and share his experiences working with his health care team to restore his independence and mobility so he could return to his career, dance with his daughter, and even play tennis. This heartbreaking and heart-warming talk will illuminate the patient’s perspective on care, the pain and grief associated with illness, and the power of resilience to fuel recovery and restored independence. Mr. Koch’s inspiring story will also spotlight how health care providers can emphasize resilience in the care setting, not just for their patients struggling to overcome illness, but for themselves.

Learning Objectives

  • Discuss the importance of resilience strategies for both physicians and their patients in helping overcome medical adversity
  • Review the roles of rehabilitation specialists in helping patients and their focus on the next step
  • List lessons on facing challenges in life and work head on