The 2019 Kellogg Business of Healthcare Conference: A Preview

For the last 10 months, I have had the privilege of working alongside 30 healthcare-passionate classmates to organize the 2019 Kellogg Business of Healthcare Conference. This Saturday, January 26th, the countless hours of hard work will culminate in what I believe will be one of the greatest healthcare events ever held at the Kellogg School of Management.

This year’s conference is titled “Blurring the Lines: Examining a New Healthcare Landscape.” You can find more information (and buy tickets!) on our website, Unfortunately, we were unable to secure Robin Thicke to perform, but we certainly have a phenomenal lineup of speakers and moderators ready to share their experience and expertise with the 350+ attendees.

For those interested, I wanted to share some of my personal excitement about this year’s event by walking through our agenda:


Keynote 1: Andrew Hayek, CEO of OptumHealth

This is a hell of a way to start the day. Optum is arguably one of the most innovative players in healthcare, and they have certainly led the way in disrupting the traditional model of the health insurance business (can we even say insurer anymore?). Not to mention, this panel will be moderated by Dr. James Weinstein, former CEO of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health and current SVP at Microsoft Healthcare. Two powerhouses sharing the stage will certainly provide some great insight into the future of the changing landscape.

Panel 1A: The Promise of Personalized Medicine

The market for personalized medicine is growing substantially, and we are seeing large pharmaceutical companies place heavy bets in this space (cough, Roche, cough). While this will almost certainly lead to more targeted therapies for patients, it also will have significant impacts on the cost of care. These drugs are justifiably priced extremely high, and I am looking forward to hearing our panelists discuss how we might pay for them in the future.

Panel 1B: The Future of Hospitals

The traditional hospital business model is struggling, particularly in geographies where there is competition. Much of the focus over the last several years has been on keeping patients out of the hospital to avoid the high costs and clinical risks that come with inpatient stays. I am very much looking forward to learning how executives are planning to innovate their current business models to remain relevant, profitable, and consumer-oriented into the future.


Lunchtime Startup Fair

At lunch, we invite entrepreneurs from various healthcare startups around the Chicagoland area to setup shop and network with interested students and conference attendees. I won’t give away who is going to be there this year, but I guarantee that you will here multiple of these founders in the news for years to come!

Keynote 2: Iyah Romm, CEO and Co-Founder Cityblock Health

Whenever anyone asks me for an example of a company that has the potential to truly disrupt the provider business model, I always point them to Iyah and Cityblock Health. Cityblock is providing highly consumer-focused care via a hyper-local focus in Brooklyn, and they are truly making a difference in the lives of patients. I hope to hear if there are any plans to scale this model beyond just Brooklyn, but I am also glad that they have taken the time to get the model right before branching out. Keep an eye on Cityblock!

Panel 2A: A View On Vertically Integrated Models

Everyone is buying everyone all the time. That is basically the best description I can give you of the healthcare industry today. With a diverse lineup of panelists, I expect that this conversation will yield some interesting thoughts about how these mergers are going to reshape the industry as we know it today. In particular, I look forward to hearing from the panelists how these changes will impact the most important of all industry participants, the patients.

Panel 2B: Tackling the Opioid Crisis

A journalist, a policy leader, and a startup CEO walk into a bar … This panel really has everything. The Opioid Crisis has certainly had widespread impact on the lives of many Americans, and this epidemic seems to only be getting worse as we hear about it nearly every day in the news. It is clear that we need an innovative solution to this problem, and I am looking forward to hearing how our panelists are tackling it from all angles.

Keynote 3: Dr. David Torchiana, President and CEO of Partners HealthCare

Dr. Torchiana will be an incredible closing keynote for this year’s conference. He brings decades of experience leading some of the largest hospital systems in our country today, and we are lucky to have him to share his expertise. Partners is one of the nation’s leaders in medical innovation, and I hope to hear Dr. Torchiana share some of the challenges (and opportunities!) this new industry structure presents for Partners going forward.

I want to personally thank all of our speakers and moderators for taking time out of their Saturday to join us in (freezing cold) Chicago to talk about one of the most pressing challenges facing our industry today.

Additionally, I hope that the caliber of this event demonstrates to the healthcare industry that there is a cadre of future business leaders at Kellogg passionate about making a real impact following graduation. I cannot even begin to express my gratitude to the people who dedicated their time and effort to putting this event together. I am humbled just looking at the team image I posted above, and proud to have been a part of it. Thank you for everything.

Join us, this Saturday, January 26th at the Kellogg Global Hub!