For assistance accessing the Virtual OMED platform on demand, please email conventions@osteopathic.org.

Mainstage Speakers

Join us each day of the conference for a diverse lineup of thought-provoking and inspirational mainstage speakers!

Be sure to join us for daily general sessions on our virtual Mainstage! We’ve developed a thought-provoking lineup of innovative thought leaders and inspiring speakers, many of whom have overcome significant obstacles with perseverance, strength and resilience. We know you’ll be just as inspired by their journeys as we are!

Diana Nyad

When? Thursday, Oct. 15 General Session, 8 a.m. CT
Where? Select the Mainstage icon from your Home screen

Diana Nyad
Diana Nyad

In 2013, at the age of 64, Diana Nyad achieved her lifelong dream of swimming from Cuba to Florida—an 110-mile journey that took 53 hours. She became the first person to swim from Havana to Key West without the aid of a shark cage.

The feat followed several prior attempts to swim the route since the 1980s and three attempts after she turned 60. Upon finishing, a breathless Nyad said, “I have three messages. One is we should never ever give up. Two is you are never too old to chase your dreams. And three is it looks like a solitary sport, but it takes a team.”

Nyad also broke records in the 1970s by swimming around Manhattan Island and crossing the 102.5 miles between the Bahamas and Florida. She has been inducted into the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame.

In addition to her athletic accomplishments, Nyad is a powerful storyteller. She is the author of the memoir, Find A Way, and a sports broadcaster whose work has appeared on NPR, ABC, Fox Sports and in The New York Times.

On Oct. 15 at 8 a.m. CT, Nyad will be the headlining keynote speaker at OMED, where she will share a detailed account of how she overcame challenges to become one of the most celebrated athletes in the world.

Alex Azar, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services

When? Friday, Oct. 16 General Session, 8 a.m. CT
Where? Select the Mainstage icon from your Home screen

Alex-Azar
Secretary Alex Azar

Secretary Azar will kick off the Friday Main Stage Keynote Session. Alex Azar was sworn in as President Trump’s Secretary of Health and Human Services in January 2018. His current tenure at HHS is a second tour of duty at the Department, after serving as General Counsel and then Deputy Secretary in the 2000s. He has spent his career working in senior healthcare leadership roles in both the public and private sectors.

Secretary Azar will speak to OMED attendees as a keynote speaker on Oct. 16 at 8 a.m. CT.

Charlie Cook

When? Friday, Oct. 16 General Session, 8:15 a.m. CT
Where? Select the Mainstage icon from your Home screen

Charlie Cook
Charlie Cook

Political analyst and National Journal contributor Charlie Cook founded the independent, nonpartisan Cook Political Report in 1984. Now with a staff of six, the publication has been praised by The New York Times as “a newsletter that both parties regard as authoritative” while CBS News’ Bob Schieffer has called it “the bible of the political community.” The publication provides analysis of elections and campaigns for the U.S. House of Representatives, the Senate, governors and the presidency and also covers American political trends.

Cook has appeared on ABC World News Tonight, the CBS Evening News, the NBC Nightly News, and on ABC’s This Week. He has also appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press over a dozen times. Over the years, Cook has served as an election night analyst for several networks. Since 1996, he spends election nights on the NBC News Election Night Decision Desk.

Cook will speak to OMED attendees as a keynote speaker on Oct. 16 at 8:15 a.m. CT., following Secretary Azar.

This keynote presentation is supported by OPAC.

Bonnie St. John

When? Saturday, Oct. 17 General Session, 8 a.m. CT
Where? Select the Mainstage icon from your Home screen

Bonnie St. John
Bonnie St. John

After having her right leg amputated at age five, Bonnie St. John went on to become the first African-American to win medals at a Winter Olympics, taking home a silver and two bronze medals at the 1984 Winter Paralympics in Innsbruck, Austria.

Beyond athletics, St. John is also a Harvard graduate and former Rhodes Scholar and served as a director of the White House National Economic Council. She represented the U.S. in delegations to both the Winter Paralympics in Vancouver in 2010 and the Summer Paralympics in Rio in 2016.

Throughout her life, St. John has become an expert on achieving success in the face of adversity. She is the author of the book Micro-Resilience: Minor Shifts for Major Boosts in Focus, Drive and Energy, which provides tools and techniques for gaining a competitive edge in today’s world.

As an OMED keynote speaker on Oct. 17 at 8 a.m. CT, St. John will discuss leading with resilience and how minor techniques that can be incorporated into a daily routine can make a significant difference in your life.

Tony Azevedo

When? Sunday, Oct. 18 General Session, 8 a.m. CT
Where? Select the Mainstage icon from your Home screen

Tony Azevedo
Tony Azevedo

Following his near-death experience at the tender age of four, Tony Azevedo’s doctors believed his injuries meant he would never be able to play sports.

Unwilling to accept this prognosis, Azevedo persevered and ultimately became a five-time Olympic athlete with the U.S. men’s water polo team, which won a silver medal in Beijing in 2008. Azevedo also played water polo on professional teams abroad for over a decade, leading each team he played with to championship titles.

As an OMED keynote speaker, on Oct. 18 at 8 a.m. CT, Azevedo will talk about achieving success against stacked odds and his experience at the Olympics. Olympic team physician Naresh Rao, DO, will introduce Azevedo.

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