Professor Farrokh Langdana with health care professionals, including several Executive MBA alumni, during a March 15 symposium.

Exploring the innovations and issues transforming health care

“Innovations in the Future of Health Care,” was the latest in a series of thought leadership symposiums presented by the highly ranked Rutgers EMBA Program.

The health care industry continues to be transformed by new regulations, technologies, increased partnerships and an intense focus on delivering higher value with lower costs, creating a challenging time for professionals in the field. 

In an event hosted by the Rutgers Executive MBA Program, area professionals, including some who are EMBA alumni, delved into the issues and innovations impacting the nation’s health care system. “Innovations in the Future of Health Care,” was the latest in a series of thought leadership symposiums presented by the highly ranked Rutgers EMBA Program.

Josh Bershad, executive vice president and chief medical officer at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital, set the stage for the day-long symposium with a keynote address that touched on the efforts of states like Indiana to reform Medicaid, online services such as ZocDoc and partnerships, including the proposed merger of CVS and Aetna, which Bershad said would create a “new front door for healthcare.”   

Bershad, who is an alumnus of the Rutgers EMBA program, also spoke about the health care system’s inefficiencies and an inequity in care. “The macro part of health care gets a lot of attention,” he said. “The micro part – the people and individuals – does not. I spend a lot of time thinking about the micro side.”

While health care professionals grapple with the Opioid crisis – and before it, the 2014 Ebola outbreak, everyday medical errors resulted in 251,000 preventable deaths a year. “Healthcare has to learn to mitigate risks,” he said.

Professor Farrokh Langdana, who is also director of the Rutgers EMBA program, described the speakers as the “intellectual force” behind the Rutgers EMBA program.

Two panels of health care professionals continued to fuel discussion about how technology is creating everything from new devices for treating patients to better data, or analytics, giving physicians new insights for providing care.

The symposium attracted an audience of EMBA alumni, including physicians and hospital administrators from across the region, as well as current students and professionals in the health care field. Professor Farrokh Langdana, who is also director of the Rutgers EMBA program, described some of the speakers as the “intellectual force” behind the program.

Marc Klapholz, a cardiologist who chairs the Department of Medicine at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, moderated the first panel through a discussion on the impact of technology and data innovations on treatments, clinical research and new healthcare models.

As other speakers did during the course of the event, Klapholz lauded the EMBA program and Professor Langdana’s leadership. “One of the most important things I’ve done is get my EMBA from Rutgers,” Klapholz said. “It was a unique experience.”

The panelists were Karin Hehenberger, founder and CEO of Lyfebulb, and a medical and scientific consultant with the Helsinn Group; Adel Laoui, chief business officer, myBrain Technologies and a strategic consultant with Wellvest Capital; Frederic Zenhausern, an endowed chair professor of basic medical sciences, a professor of radiation oncology at the College of Medicine in Phoenix and the founder-director of the Center for Applied Nanobioscience and Medicine at the University of Arizona. (Laoui and Zenhausern are EMBA alumni.)

Khan Siddiqui, co-founder of higi, co-director of the Center for Biomedical and Imaging Informatics and visiting associate professor of radiology at Johns Hopkins University; and Ari Yacobi, chief data scientist at Knowledgent, were also panelists.

Panelists at Executive MBA symposium
Charles Hwang, Dr. Eric Lazar and Chris Plance discuss innovations in healthcare technology and management and their impact on patient health and outcomes. Photos: Hunter Morris.

Speakers on the second panel were John Fanburg, managing partner, Brach Eichler; Stuart Hochron, chief medical officer, Uniphy Health and a clinical professor at Rutgers Medical School’s Department of Medicine; Charles Hwang, managing partner, Lightning Capital Partners; Eric Lazar, program director, Morristown Medical Center’s surgery training program and attending surgeon at Goryeb Children’s Hospital (He is also an EMBA alumnus); and Chris Plance, founder of Veris and principal management consultant at Datus LLC. (Plance is a current EMBA student.)

Loubna Erraji, director of career management and alumni relations for EMBA, said the symposium series will become a new tradition for the Rutgers EMBA program.

While the event featured a provocative exchange of ideas among important thought leaders in the health care industry, it also highlighted the fact that an increasing number of physicians, medical specialists and healthcare administrators – are pursuing executive MBAs. The event also provided an opportunity for alumni, students and other guests to network.  

As the symposium opened, Erraji encouraged the audience to take advantage of everything the event offered: “Make the most of this great networking and learning opportunity,” she said.

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