CARLSBAD, CALIF. — Standing before a room full of health care executives, Siemens Healthcare CEO Gregory Sorensen, M.D., and actor/patient advocate Michael J. Fox, made their pitch for turning those frowns upside down and breathing a little optimism into the health care environment.

Optimism has been one of the running themes here at the first day of the 2014 Siemens Health Executives Forum. As Sorensen pointed out, the clinical and scientific communities are making considerable advances in our understanding of human biology and there are tremendous breakthroughs in cancer care and other research. He was also optimistic about the future of Obamacare, noting that the open enrollment process seemed to right itself after a rocky start.

“Whether you’re for it or against it, that is stabilizing,” Sorensen said. “The implementation is rolling out, the ideas that underlie that regulatory reform are being implemented, and it seems less and less likely that it’s going to blow up, and more and more likely that at least some of what it’s architects intended is going to happen. That stability, I think, is a reason for optimism.”

I spent a few minutes chatting with the Siemens CEO earlier this week, teasing out what he expected from the conference in the coming days.