Dr. James R. Downing, president and CEO of St. Jude Research Hospital, will speak at the Commercial Appeal’s Healthcare Newsmaker breakfast on May 23.

Downing’s speech will be followed by a panel discussion featuring specialists behind St. Jude Global, an ambitious initiative working to improve access to health care for children with cancer and life-threatening blood diseases worldwide.

Panelists include Dr. Carlos Rodriguez-Galindo, executive vice president and director of St. Jude Global; Dr. Paola Friedrich, director of St. Jude Global’s Mexico region; Dr. Nickhill Bhakta, director of St. Jude Global’s sub-Saharan Africa region; and Catherine Corbin, managing director of design firm IDEO.

The forum will begin at 7:30 am at the Halloran Centre. Downing’s keynote speech will begin at 8 am followed by the panel discussion moderated by Commercial Appeal health care reporter Max Garland.