By Tara Law
Updated: October 17, 2019 12:15 PM ET

TIME Editor-in-Chief Edward Felsenthal welcomed leaders from across the health-care community to the magazine’s first TIME 100 Health Summit.

The TIME 100 Summit will feature current and former leaders from various fields — including former President Bill Clinton, former Vice President Al Gore, NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins, and former Planned Parenthood President Dr. Leana Wen — Thursday in New York City. Felsenthal, in his opening remarks, told the assembled audience of scientists, physicians, activists and business leaders that the spirit of the summit is to invite leaders from various fields to work together to address of the most significant health challenges facing the world.

“There’s a reason why Health is central to what we do at TIME,” Felsenthal said. “We are living through epic global events, with a news cycle moving at warp speed, yet there is no topic more personal or more important to our audiences than their health and the health of their families. There has never been more health information available to patients, yet at the same time so much confusion about what information can be trusted. There has also never been more innovation in both wellness and treatment. And yet unequal access remains one of the blights of our age.”

He noted that TIME has reported that your zip code may be one of the most significant influences on an individual lifespan. For instance, the projected lifespan of a New Yorker may vary by decades depending on which neighborhood they live in, according to NYU data.

Felsenthal also invited Summit attendees to help produce the cover of next week’s issue of TIME, which he said will be “a special edition focused on what we as a society need to do to seize this incredible moment of possibility in health care.” He displayed several of the options, including a cover that would feature an article with the tag line “There’s Never Been a Better Time to Be Sick…. So Long as You’re Rich.”

Read the full remarks below:

Write to Tara Law at tara.law@time.com.

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